This looks to be part of Google's payback for all of the money and media they contributed to Obama's campaign.
Google has already pushed link buying and selling underground. Now it's pushing product reviews underground. Google saw both of these as a threat to AdWords. I wonder what threat Google will see next -- and how many tax dollars will be spent protecting Google from competition?
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I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
In regards to spam, some big players were taken out of the picture. Lots were looking at multi-million dollar fines and a dozen years in prison. But the people will adapt - as they always had.
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Microsoft doesn't care about what web browser that you use. As long as it is Internert Explorer
What I see happening in the future - bloggers will have to disclose if the got the item for free. And then the internal revenue service is going to want to tax those items.
Lets say a blogger gets a new laptop that resells for $1,000. The blogger has to disclose that he/she received the laptop free to review and keep. Then the IRS wants the blogger to list that laptop as a gift and pay a special tax on it. Bloggers will have to disclose everything they received because it will be listed on their blog. If its not on their tax return, then why was it listed on the blog?
The IRS will be able to take some of the high profile bloggers and compare their tax returns to their blog. "ok, you got a laptop for this article, but its not listed on your tax return". "you got a new TV, but its not listed on your tax return". "Since you did not list those items, your going to have to pay a penalty and fines, plus everything else you owe."
My opinion - I think some bad things are on their way, and it aint gonna be pretty.
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I can honestly say that I am not a big fan of most politicians. However, that is an understatement with respect to the current gang in power. It would be nice if we could find a way to run the country without using politicians.
The FTC has done some major backpedaling on this since it was announced. I personally do not think they will do anything unless they find some completely falsified paid reviews for a medical device or drug that ends up killing or seriously harming someone who followed the recommendations of a hired blogger. I have read comments to that effect from the FTC.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
One of the problems here is that small bloggers are cutting into the profits of big business. No longer do companies have to buy TV or magazine advertising. They can just give away some of their products, get reviews, and get a permanent review and ad on a bloggers page.
Unlike a banner, the review never expires.
Unlike a TV commercial, the review can be seen at anytime.
Unlike a magazine or newspaper ad, the review is on the website forever.
This makes it easier for small start up companies to get the word out about their products cheaper and more effective then buying ads.
Blogger reviews hurts big companies in 2 ways:
More competition from small start up businesses
Reduces sales of advertisements