The Associated Press is reporting that the FTC is considering guidelines to control how bloggers review products. It seems that some bloggers take monetary or other financial gratuities and are expected to write reviews that complement a product. The practice has spilled over to product comments with raving reviews or unflattering reviews on such sites such as Amazon. It would seem that this practice could also be spilling over to other sites that permit comments.
According to the AP report:
It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight.
Which brings up some interesting points. I agree that if a person posts in a blog or makes a comment that they should be required to spell out what the monetary payment, if any, is. I also agree that some bloggers may over estimate the quality or worth of a product that is given to them. But aren’t some product reviews just plain opinions by the writer.
I have seen some of the major news agencies whether in print or on the Internet review products and provide opinions. Should their opinions be worthless? Most people who would write about hardware or software are given the products to test for free without any reward.
I believe the FTC may have a problem trying to enforce these guidelines upon bloggers.
What do you think? Good or bad idea?