The Empire Strikes Back: FTC Plans to Regulate Blogs That Have Affiliate Relationships

June 27th, 2009

What has happened is that bloggers have blown the support columns out from underneath traditional media and the people who run the show don’t like that.

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The fact that some of us are able to survive by maintaining blogs must have come as an incredible shock to fat bastards in boardrooms across the land. That we are not “regulated” is unthinkable in the Soviet hive mind that governs the political economy of the United States.

Wall Street firms have made off with an unknown sum of taxpayer money and the mom who makes $800 per month from her blogs (see the article below) is going to have comply with FTC regulations?

Of course, comrade. People who read blogs can’t be trusted to think for themselves. And those swarthy bloggers, why… There ought to be a law!

This is what states do that are well down the path to collapse.

Why should I care about being regulated since I already overtly disclose my financial situation?

How much of my day will I have to spend on complying with this? How many forms will I have to fill out? Will I have to pay a fee to government regulators so that I can continue to make less than minimum wage to run this site? All of that is unknown at this point.

Go ahead, Uncle $cam. Try it. Not only do I need a good laugh, but this will do more to erode what remains of your power than any of your enemies could have hoped to accomplish by other means.

Via: AP:

If the guidelines are approved, bloggers would have to back up claims and disclose if they’re being compensated — the FTC doesn’t currently plan to specify how. The FTC could order violators to stop and pay restitution to customers, and it could ask the Justice Department to sue for civil penalties.

Any type of blog could be scrutinized, not just ones that specialize in reviews.

So parents keeping blogs to update family members on their child’s first steps technically would fall under the FTC guidelines, though they likely would have little to worry about unless they accept payments or free products and write about them.

But they would need to think twice if, for instance, they praise parenting books they’ve just read and include links to buy them at a retailer like Inc.

That’s because the guidelines also would cover the broader and common practice of affiliate marketing, in which bloggers and other sites get a commission when someone clicks on a link that leads to a purchase at a retailer. In such cases, merchants also would be responsible for actions by their sales agents — including a network of bloggers.

Amazon declined to comment.

Cleland said the FTC would likely focus on repeated offenses that continue after a warning to stop.

Source: Cryptogon

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