If you haven’t heard about the Federal Trade Commission’s plans to monitor blogs, read the Associated Press story here. The gist is that this summer the FTC plans to approve new guidelines that would clarify the agency’s ability to go after bloggers who are paid or given freebies to review products and don’t disclose that their reviews may have been influenced. The logistics of doing so in the Wild West of blogging is lost on me.
What does this mean for Digital Mom? Nothing today. I don’t get paid nor do I get freebies, and I don’t run affiliate ads on my blog – where you click though my blog to get to Amazon and I get some pennies. If I did get paid, the ethics I hold as a professional journalist and preserving my reputation as a professional would compel me to disclose.
Regardless of how it all pans out for bloggers, it’s a good wake up call to blog readers. It’s always important to read everything with a critical eye and to consider the source of your information — online or off.