Bloggers Just Selling Out All Over the Place

Oh those damn bloggers! They're out there, and they're ruining everything. They're pushing things on their dumb blogs that they're being secretly compensated to shill for, things like Sea World. They must be destroyed!

These friggin' bloggers are pimping stuff all over the place without disclosing their involvement with the stuff they're pimping. They're doing it on blogs, on Twitter, in their Facebook status updates—Who will stop these virtual charlatans from deceiving the doltish masses? The government, of course! Well, maybe.

The proliferation of paid sponsorships online has not been without controversy. Some in the online world deride the actions as kickbacks. Others also question the legitimacy of bloggers' opinions, even when the commercial relationships are clearly outlined to readers.

And the Federal Trade Commission is taking a hard look at such practices and may soon require online media to comply with disclosure rules under its truth-in-advertising guidelines.

A draft of the new rules was posted for public comments this year and the staff is to make a formal recommendation to be presented to the commissioners for a vote, perhaps by early fall.

"Consumers have a right to know when they're being pitched a product," said Richard Cleland, an assistant director at the Federal Trade Commission.

We almost always find it amusing when the Times takes issue with the internet in some way, but in this case we'd have no problem if all of the bloggers mentioned in this article were subjected to public stonings, especially this one:

TNT, for instance, is experimenting with a paid relationship with a popular blogger, Melanie Notkin, founder and chief executive of SavvyAuntie.com, a site that has carved out a demographic niche of professional aunts without children.

Ms. Notkin is sending out several messages to her more than 10,000 Twitter followers on Tuesday nights, when a new episode of "Saving Grace" is shown.

Bloggers like this one give blogging a bad name, which is quite an accomplishment when you really stop and think about it. With that said, the name "Julia Allison" appears nowhere in this piece, amazingly.

When a Blogger Voices Approval, A Sponsor May Be Lurking [New York Times]
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