FTC cracks down on damaging bloggers

June 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many consumers go online to get independent consumer reviews, but how independent are they?

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Some bloggers accept perks, free laptops, trips to Europe, in exchange for a favorable post, but now the Federal Trade Commission says enough is enough.

New guidelines will allow the agency to go after bloggers and companies for any false claims or conflicts of interest. It would be the first federal monitoring of Internet content.

U.C. Berkley professor Jason Schultz has warned against it.

"If we try and go into the business of refereeing, it gets very complicated and our own biases come out and we get accusations here and there of censorship," says Schultz.

However, the federal government already referees content on the airwaves where payola is a criminal offense.

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