Fessing Up to the Feds

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It's a fad right now: Posting your disclosure policy on your blog. And this fad may be driven by the Feds as they try to clamp down on those sneaky advertisers using personal testimonies on blogs as a way to lie to the peoples.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if I ever said it in so few words, so here it goes:
I am paid to blog for Sonlight.

Yep. Blogging is one of the many things I do here at Sonlight. One of the other things I do is correct totally odd things that have long been on Sonlight's website. I happened across this little guy today:



But back to disclosing: I can understand why the federal government would be concerned with this kind of thing. But it still feels odd. See, if you're not honest--and you only paint glowing, wonderful pictures of stuff--people will eventually tune you out. Consumers are pretty savvy when it comes to reviews, feedback and testimonials. We're pretty good at figuring stuff out.

If you hadn't noticed, several of my Other Posts of Note have recently had to do with the struggles and difficulties of homeschooling. The school year is still getting going, and feeling overwhelmed is commonplace. And it'd be dumb of me to not include those posts--which are encouraging in their own way--just to try to paint homeschooling in a better light.

But this new policy begs the question: How long before the Federal Trade Commission decides that they need to watch ThinkGeek reviews and IMDB ratings? Sure, this really does have to do with trade (you're trading your time blogging for a product or bonus or a couple of coppers to rub together) and personally instigated reviews do not. So, the FTC isn't likely to come play on most of your blogs. But what about Rewards links and the like? They going to clamp down on those?

Interesting stuff to think about in this world of "new" and "social" media.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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