Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Truth, Blogging and the American Way

Why would a blogger in Malaysia post about an American debt collection company and tweet about it: "No More Miss Nice Gal! | Mariuca http://bit.ly/apFzxY" ??? BECAUSE SHE CAN GET AWAY WITH IT!

But MAYBE not for long: foreign blogs may soon be scrutinized and blocked from appearing on US Computers! International bloggers may wish to avoid content tangles! I recommend they follow the example of Wendy Cheng (XiaXue) who ALWAYS discloses adverts on her blog. If you write a blog (or send out tweets, or maintain a facebook page), you owe it to your readers and yourself to tell the truth!

As of last December, the US Federal Trade Commission ruled that American bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. [details].

Any ADVERTISING should be clearly marked or otherwise identified as such! #ad if it's a tweet or "sponsored post" if its an article. Here's an ad from my blog, with FULL DISCLOSURE at the top of the post! I uploaded a different post this week that could have possibly been interpreted as an ad, but it was NOT, and I let my readers know, spelling it out clearly: "... this entire post is NOT an advertorial nor any sort of paid ad of any kind!"

While Americans are subjected to a barrage of TV and radio spots offering debt relief, with many hoping for an Obama credit card debt relief program, there are warnings out: DEBT COLLECTION COMPANY ABUSES CONTINUE!

Tobias Boyland was arrested last June for running a debt collection agency that threatened people: State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo shut down Boyland’s company last year because of allegations that his employees used violence to collect on debts.

Debt collection companies are now using blogs and bloggers! And, deceptive as they are, failing to ask bloggers to disclose to readers that the posts are really PAID ADS!

"Angry blogger" Marzie (Mariuca) blogs and tweets about being angry - but if you look closer, the "anger" is really an "advertorial" for a California-based U.S. debt collection agency! The post refers to an "irresponsible client," but the only irresponsible party is the blogger herself, who fails to disclose any sort of advertorial relationship with the debt collection company!

BLOGGERS! Be responsible, and DON'T LIE!

I nominate Marzie for the next Blogging Blunders award.

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