Second class on the First Amendment

The Administration believes bloggers can’t be trusted with free speech the way everyone else is, it seems.  Reports FT.com (hat tip to Marco):

Advertisers in the US are bracing themselves for regulatory changes that they fear will curtail their efforts to tap into the fast-growing online social media phenomenon.

Revised guidelines on endorsements and testimonials by the Federal Trade Commission, now under review and expected to be adopted, would hold companies liable for untruthful statements made by bloggers and users of social networking sites who receive samples of their products.

Bad, bad idea.  I definitively (!) addressed this two years ago right  here.  Nothing else to talk about.

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Ron Coleman

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6 thoughts on “Second class on the First Amendment

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  4. Pardon me for being hopelessly naive, but I would think that ordinary principal-agent principles would be sufficient for this sort of thing.

  5. Perhaps I was approaching from the wrong angle. My first thought was that a reviewer’s comments really shouldn’t be attributed to the company unless you could establish some sort of relationship similar to that of a principal and an agent. Attributing liability to the product maker absent that kind of relationship seems wrong … and a free sample doesn’t seem enough to create it.

    Then I realized that since I don’t have access to the full FT article, I really don’t know what I’m talking about here. Or rather, I know less than I ordinarily do.

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