An oxymoron, I know. I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Unit, today and one of the characters said something to the effect of ‘bureaucrats won’t leave a meeting until no one is happy.’ I saw Tobold and Syp talk about the upcoming FTC changes that will affect bloggers that choose to review products, when the reviews are endorsed. “Endorsement” is the key word to the whole scenario, and while the FTC tries to muddy the waters with their examples, it sounds bigger than it is.
An “endorsement” that runs afoul of the FTC requires an undisclosed material connection, where the material connection caused the speech. In other words, if an unsolicited copy of a game shows up on my doorstep, and I choose to review it, I am not necessarily endorsing the game according to the FTC (see footnote 21). Now if the game company kept sending me unsolicited games, and I kept reviewing them… well there might be grounds for that material connection. If the game company said they would send me a free copy if I review it, then I would be endorsing it, according to the FTC, even if my review was a scalding 2/10.
Blogging is based on trust. I don’t read blogs very often from bloggers whose quality of thoughts seem bought. Now, I agree that a blogger should disclose a review in exchange for free product, but I think the FTC is pretty stupid to make that required. They really don’t have anything else to do with their time than monitor blogs? Glad my tax dollars are hard at work trying to chill free speech on the internet of all places.
the death of all sound work