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.