FTC To Go After Bloggers?

Okay, bloggers, listen up! You just might have to be more careful in the future. The news is that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is turning its eye on bloggers. CNET recently reported that the FTC may crack down on bloggers who review or promote products and get freebies or money as payment.

Caroline McCarthy of CNET writes:

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.

Naturally, many bloggers have found this disturbing. Whether or not you accept paid posting and similar deals, the mere fact that the FTC is focusing on blogging now can be quite disturbing. You never know what they may come up with! The possibility that the FTC might become too strict and limit the freedom that bloggers currently enjoy has also been brought up.

Companies like IZEA (PayPerPost) have already issued statements to the effect that disclosure is the key to this issue. CEO Ted Murphy says that “the companies that should be worried about these changes are those that have no standards and no way to enforce disclosure. We have invested millions of dollars creating systems that allow us to automate transactions and verify standardized disclosure.”

While nothing is set as of yet, I think that this is a preview of what might become of blogging in the future. Just a heads up!