More on the Fucktardederal Trade Commission's New Rules

Yesterday, Tim Cavanaugh wrote about a bunch of idiotic new regulations on advertising and bloggers introduced by the Federal Trade Commission. Media watcher/participant Jeff Jarvis has more.

It is a monument to unintended consequence, hidden dangers, and dangerous assumptions. [...]

[T]he FTC assumes - as media people do - that the internet is a medium. It's not. It's a place where people talk. Most people who blog, as Pew found in a survey a few years ago, don't think they are doing anything remotely connected to journalism. I imagine that virtually no one on Facebook thinks they're making media. They're connecting. They're talking. So for the FTC to go after bloggers and social media - as they explicitly do - is the same as sending a government goon into Denny's to listen to the conversations in the corner booth and demand that you disclose that your Uncle Vinnie owns the pizzeria whose product you just endorsed. [...]

And there is the greatest myth embedded within the FTC's rules: that the government can and should sanitize the internet for our protection. The internet is the world and the world is messy and I don't want anyone - not the government, not a newspaper editor - to clean it up for me, for I fear what will go out in the garbage: namely, my rights.

What I now truly dread is that the FTC is holding hearings about journalism on Dec. 1 and 2.

More here. Makes me want to launch a new blog, title it "Congress Shall Make No Law," and then sell ads for this First Amendment poster at CafePress. Without disclosing the connection.

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  • ||

    I have a First Amendment shirt that I bought at the National Archives when I worked in DC. I should wear it more often.

  • ||

    Yo, Fuck the FTC.
    With a razor blade decorated baseball bat, Fuck the FTC long and hard.

  • WWJGD||

    Sucks having to dig up the alt text. But it was worth it.

  • Hacha Cha||

    yeah good luck trying to enforce that.
    not only does it violate the first amendment but it would also go against the free speech laws that are in state constitutions.

  • ||

    "yeah good luck trying to enforce that.
    not only does it violate the first amendment but it would also go against the free speech laws that are in state constitutions."

    But it is not about enforcing it. It is about being able to pick on and destroy people the government doesn't like. This thing is a boon for political hacks to go after their enemies. That is what this is about.

  • ||

    Bingo.

    Anytime you think "good luck trying to enforce that" just skip to the next step John pointed out.

  • ||

    Which just gave me an idea for a Gov't themed Monopoly game. We'll call it "Government Monopoly" (i know, creative, right)

    It'll have Unintended Consequence cards instead of Chance cards, Eminent Domain cards instead of Community Chest cards....

    That's all i've got so far.

  • ||

    Oh, "pass go and collect $200" becomes "pass the Good Intentions square and collect an Unintended Consequences card"

    (The whole inspiration for the idea. Excuse the dbl post)

  • FTC Apologist||

    Most people who blog, as Pew found in a survey a few years ago, don't think they are doing anything remotely connected to journalism.

    Yeah, well, ignorance of the law is no excuse!

  • ||

    Sorry, but there's no way this is legal. John's right--selective enforcement and bizarre levels of viewpoint discrimination are the best we can hope for.

  • ||

    The internet, she's a filthy whore.

  • Humanure||

    Well Piss Me Off!

  • Humanure||

    "The internet, she's a filthy whore."

    Just make certain to use a condum.

  • ||

    I use Firefox. What do I need to do to get the alt-text on the pretty pictures?

  • Amakudari||

    In Firefox, alt text needs to be written in the "title" attribute, not the "alt" attribute. People got confused about this because IE didn't fix it until version 8. So, you'll either have to wait until Reason fixes it or use a Firefox add-on that fixes all alt/title attributes.

  • JB||

    Right-click...Properties.

    Very simple.

  • ||

    You can right-click, then view "Properties" to see it. An abomination, but there it is.

  • JB||

    Argh. Respekt the threads, man!

  • JB||

    Oh, and it's an Anachronism not an abomination.

  • Robert||

    Many science journals have little disclaimers under each article saying that because page charges were received from the author to defray printing costs, the article has to be labeled "ADVERTISEMENT" according to whatever in the U.S.C. the FTC is interpreting.

    Keep in mind that all the FTC has done here is publish an interpretive guideline, not even a regulation.

  • boscoh||

    So, let's --CK THE FTC. That is, hack them. Someone come up with a short standard disclaimer that would cover blog postings that are compensated and let's all use it. You know, even if we're not being compensated. Would they fine us for claiming that we were?

  • Joe Callan||

    Guys, this one's easy to fight. It's not like trying to get everyone to stop paying their taxes or stop buying a particular product. Whatever their ruling is, you just keep on posting what you're posting. They can't possibly stop all of us.

    They can try, but remember that our government is teetering on the brink of total bankruptcy, so when they're spending money on enforcing millions of instances of 12-year-olds posting lolcats that "may be endorsing McDonalds Cheeseburgers," it could just be the straw that breaks the Treasury's back.

  • anonymous||

    "They can't possibly stop all of us. "

    They don't want to stop all of us, just the ones that need to be made examples of.

  • JB||

    That's why this country needs more people to make examples of government employees.

  • ||

    "The internet is the world and..."

    Really? Although they don't have breathless commentators or PACs to represent them, my guess is that the 2+ million formally described species of life in "the world" would disagree.

  • ||

    What I guess the writer means to say is "the internet is my world."

  • lol||

    idiot

  • James Madison||

    I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

  • Joe Pawlikowski||

    Sorry, Matt, but congressshallmakenolaw.com is already registered.

  • JB||

    Fuck the FTC.

    Fuck everyone who works there. Fuck them in their cunts and fuck them in their assholes and fuck them in their faces.

    And someone PAID me to post this. And I'm not disclosing who it is. Maybe it's God, maybe it's my neighbor, maybe it's your dead grandma.

  • brian t||

    At the risk of asking the obvious ... what is the scope of the FTC's jurisdiction?

    The way you guys talk, you'd think the USA is the World, and what happens on the Internet is controlled from Washington. There are plenty of other countries out there, willing and able to do whatever the USA isn't willing or able to do. If you have content the FTC might not like, then don't host it in the USA. What are they going to do - set up a Great Firewall, like China is trying to? Hmmm ...

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  • Ed||

    I wonder if huangzhixian2021 was paid for making that comment?

  • Amy Alkon||

    Once again, the market should rule here. If a blogger posts endorsements of crappy shit, their readers will vacate fast.

    I recommend books in my column and blog from time to time. I buy some of them and I get some of them as review copies (free from publishers). I can't afford to pay for all the books I recommend in my column, so by sending me these copies the publishers are helping in the free flow of information.

    Merely sending me a book will not get anyone a mention. I have three piles of books on astrology, "spirituality," and other crapthink that will get piled in the alley or sold on Amazon.

    And P.S. If I were going to sell out, I sure wouldn't do it for the price of a trade paperback.

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