There’s a saying that a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. We’ve now learned that bloggers mugged by regulators become economic libertarians.
Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission issued its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” last updated in 1980. These rules historically regulated what celebrity endorsers can say and how advertisers can use research claims.
This time the agency decided that regulations covering “endorsements and testimonials” should apply to people commenting on product or services, such as reviewing the latest gadgets or fashions, through blogs, Facebook posts and Twitter updates. The blogosphere erupted.
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The guidelines require people to disclose online if they have what the FTC vaguely defines as “material connections” with the sellers of a product or service. This could include getting free samples on which they base comments or reviews. Bloggers objected to the double standard that exempts traditional media from the rules—many newspapers, magazines and broadcasters accept free books and other products for their reviewers.
Read More: By L. GORDON CROVITZ, Wall Street Journal