Bad news for the sock-puppeteers

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 6, 2007

Category: Consume!, The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
at
8:32 am and is filed
under Consume!, The Political Weblog Movement.

Via Toby

The Register – EU cracks down on fake blogger astroturfing: Nothing beats word of mouth for getting people to put their hand in their pockets. So it didn’t take long for cheeky marketing departments to cotton on to the power of blogs and pose as consumers praising their own particular widget to the skies to help lift their top line. Sneaky, perhaps, but usually legal. Not for much longer, however, as covert commercial blogging – or flogging – will soon be banned by Brussels. Under laws due to come into force at the beginning of next year, but likely to be delayed until April for the UK, companies posing as consumers on fake blogs, providing fake testimonies on consumer rating websites such as TripAdvisor, or writing fake book reviews on Amazon risk criminal or civil liability.. Those that break the new rules risk both civil proceedings and criminal prosecution. When it comes to catching the guilty in flagrante, the authorities will be allowed to make test purchases and enter premises without a warrant, if necessary. But the crucial word here is “risk” – the government has already indicated that only serious infringements will be prosecuted, although it is probably best to assume that it will prod into action the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards, the chief enforcement agencies, should an illegal commercial blog gain a high media profile.

I would dare say that the same law will apply to repeated false-face endorsements of certain political websites that also involve significant commercial interests.

There are some doubts about the effectiveness of the new law when “only serious infringements will be prosecuted”, but the risk of prosecution is sure to, at least, keep mainstream agencies and clients on the straight and narrow.

OK, so I’m an optimist…








Sorry, comments are closed for this item.

  • NEW! You can now support Bloggerheads by buying handmade firelighters for camping and utility or deluxe firelighters for your home fireplace. Visit fireburngood.com to see my products.

    Fire Burn Good fire lighters

  • External Channels

  • Tim Ireland

  • Page 3 Politics

    Page 3: a short history

  • Main

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

    The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

  • Badges + Buttons

    religion