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.
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