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Tag Archives: Blogger-Disclosure

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Social Media Rules: Ethics and Disclosure in Blogging

I recently read an article on SocialFish about FTC rules relating to publicists and social media managers and bloggers. Basically, it puts the onus on these publicists and anyone in social media representing a company to require that bloggers disclose an freebies. "The difference between honesty and sleazery is disclosure." A good quote from the article, it goes on to say that it is all about trust and you can't gain that if you don't disclose that you as a brand have given something to bloggers for free. But what about us bloggers? We have the responsibility as well to disclose when we get anything for free, whether the restaurant / manufacturer asks us to or not. I wrote about an experience where a company explicitly asked us bloggers NOT to disclose that we had gotten anything for free. It left me with an icky feeling, and the result is that I never wrote a word about t them. Has this ever happened to you? You are a...

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FTC Blogger Disclosure: Are You in Compliance?

One of the stipulations of being part of the Association of Food Bloggers is that you disclose freebies that you are given. Besides durables like books or cooking utensils, this includes any free meals that you are given. It is just part of our ethical standards, and, well, the right thing to do. So, if you are reviewing a restaurant based on a free meal, you should be disclosing (somewhere in the post) that you received the meal for free. However, the FTC made it law that bloggers much disclose such freebies just over a year ago. Did you know that this extends to even Facebook and Twitter? And there are hefty fines (up to $11,000) if found guilty of non-disclosure. View the full guidelines here. We perused the document but didn't read it in it's entirety (it is 81 pages) and it seems like it gives the FTC free reign to investigate anyone, who endorses a product if the FTC finds that the product was anything other than a cash for product / service transaction. So why is the FTC targeting bloggers more than others? They point to the fact of the growing power and clout of blogs. This stealthy Social Med...

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