Skip to comments.FTC To Go After Bloggers That Make False Claims
Posted on 06/22/2009 4:09:14 AM PDT by Zakeet
In today's "Truly Delicious Irony" segment, the Federal Trade Commission, just months after so-called journalists decided who should win a presidential primary and subsequent election, is going to begin going after bloggers who make false claims about products and/or don't fully disclose conflicts of interest.
As reported by the Associated Press Sunday:
New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers as well as the companies that compensate them for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer and getting commissions for any sales from it would be enough to trigger oversight.
"If you walk into a department store, you know the (sales) clerk is a clerk," said Rich Cleland, assistant director in the FTC's division of advertising practices. "Online, if you think that somebody is providing you with independent advice and ... they have an economic motive for what they're saying, that's information a consumer should know."
Shouldn't the same standard apply to journalists reporting the news? If the FTC is concerned about the motives of bloggers, then what about a reporter's agenda when sharing the events of the day? Shouldn't the reader or viewer be made aware of that as well?
That asked, try to keep a straight face as you read the following:
As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media.
Journalists who work for newspapers and broadcasters are held accountable by their employers, and they generally cannot receive payments from marketers and must return free products after they finish reviewing them.
Ethical practices typically found in traditional media? Journalists who work for newspapers and broadcasters are held accountable by their employers?
Really? On what planet?
That asked, might I suggest that as the FTC begins monitoring bloggers for undisclosed conflicts of interest they start doing the same thing to the traditional media outlets that have thoroughly abdicated any journalistic integrity the past few years.
Something to keep in mind when dealing with the government.
This is the real reason why Obama stuck his head up his ass during the Iranian massacre.
Because he hates free speech and is on the side of anyone who wants to crush free speech.
Those FCC guidelines are evidence in a sanity hearing of FCC members. I mean really! It’s quite delusional what they’re shoveling.
So... bottom line they will go after you if you dare say anything negative about 0bama or democRATS?
What about politicians who make false claims?
Anyone want to bet that liberal blogs will somehow NOT be monitored?
Obama was born in the United States.
Am I in trouble now?
One helluva tough standard. I returned those Goodyear tires after roadtesting them for 40,000 miles. Along with that TomTom GPS system. And got new review copies in exchange. And I did appreciate those speaking fees I got at their awards dinner in Hilton Head (first class air and hotel included.)
Gimme a break.
Yes, but I spent a night at the holiday Inn!
Update on Recovery Act Lobbying Rules: New Limits on Special Interest Influence
White House Blog
FRIDAY, MAY 29TH, 2009 AT 5:35 PM
Posted by Jesse Lee. Another update from Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, in the spirit of transparency as always:
I am writing with an update on the Presidents March 20, 2009 Memorandum on Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds. Section 3 of the Memorandum required all oral communications between federally registered lobbyists and government officials concerning Recovery Act policy to be disclosed on the Internet; barred registered lobbyists from having oral communications with government officials about specific Recovery Act projects or applications and instead required those communications to be in writing; and also required those written communications to be posted on the Internet.
That Memorandum instructed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review the initial 60 days of implementation of the stimulus lobbying restrictions, to evaluate the data, and to recommend modifications.
Following OMBs review, the Administration has decided to make a number of changes to the rules that we think make them even tougher on special interests and more focused on merits-based decision making.
First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.
Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.
Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agencys website documenting the contact.
OMB will be consulting with agencies, outside experts and others about these principles and will publish detailed guidance, but we wanted to update interested parties on the outcome of the initial review. We consulted very broadly both within and outside of government (including as reflected in previous posts on the White House blog) and we are grateful to all those who participated in the process.
WEB SITE http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Update-on-Recovery-Act-Lobbying-Rules-New-Limits-on-Special-Interest-Influence/
I’ve been telling people about Zicam and the tremendous increase in explosive upper body strength that I experienced as a result of taking the product just to clear up a bad cold. Now, I guess I won’t be able to talk about it anymore online.
I think right now this is aimed more toward, as an example, the blogger who is pitching the diet aid de jour and is hiding the fact that the manufacturer is paying him to say it.
Newbusters is wrong about "Shouldn't the same standard apply to journalists reporting the news?" though. It's a slippery slope to start investigating the blogosphere and if they start doing it with something that seems in the public interest such as advertising it is a shorter step to shutting down the "hate website" Free Republic.
A libel jury determined that the Boston Globe had lied about a criminal matter involving Massachusetts Governor Ed King, then in a primary battle with Mike “the good” Dukakis, who put the lieing in Brookline. They didn’t award damages, since they determined the lies didn’t hurt him (?), even though he wound up losing the primary to the Duke. The plaintiff had to show “actual malice”, that the Globe knew, or reasonably should have known that the stories were false and the jury found that they did. I hope they die.
How much you want to bet the Birther blogs are the first to go?
How much you want to bet the Birther blogs are the first to go?
“Journalistic ethics” - is that something like promiscuous virginity?