The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is finally stepping up to the plate and making a concerted effort to regulate Blogging on the Internet. This is a pretty big deal for the blogging community, especially if your Internet marketing program includes blogging, patient testimonials, and video. This very post is now being held to a certain set of standards. Just like HIPPA, the guidelines are vague and largely unenforceable, but at least standards are being set.
Most of the FTC’s new rules for blogging have to do with advertising and disclosure. You cannot accept freebies or payment in exchange for positive reviews without disclosing it. Belive it or not, some people make a good living doing this. So if you are hiring actors to give video testimonials, your need to be aware of this. It’s important to point out that these aren’t actual laws. They are more like interpretations of laws that can have serious consequences if not followed—you could face sanctions or a lawsuit.
I read this blog post this morning that sums up the announcement nicely, so I will pass this along and give credit where credit is due. This is the power of social networking. If I hadn’t read this post, I wouldn’t be able to pass this news on to you.
Many of the areas discussed do not apply to your everyday Internet marketing efforts in an orthodontic or dental practice. However, it is important we know that the government understands some type of regulations is required in this new industry that is growing faster than anyone imagined in their wildest dreams and will continue to do so in the future. As time goes on, I assume more regulation will be imposed. It will be our responsibility to keep on eye on these regulations to assure they don’t overstep their boundaries.
Food for thought! How do you feel about government regulation on the Internet? Leave a comment below to let me know.