Pondering the new FTC guidelines

7 Oct

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one anywhere.

What I am, is having a lot of trouble parsing the new FTC guidelines–how exactly does it affect people like me, who review books online?

Jane at DA fears it will make bloggers vulnerable to petty and malicious attacks–and given what we have seen about how the regulations set in place for the protection of children (i.e., the Michigan case, my neighbors in Florida) are abused by grumpy neighbors, I don’t think it’s a stretch that bloggers who believe every other person who disagrees with them, hates them*, or that bloggers who rejoice over other bloggers’ personal hardships**, would indeed gleefully abuse the new guidelines in order to make life difficult for people like the gals at DA or Karen.

(Yes, it’s a long sentence, deal)

From what I’ve seen/read so far, the FTC (or whatever interest group behind this asinine BS) only has an issue with positive reviews, equating them with “product endorsement” Does that mean that if I only post snarky reviews then I don’t have to explain where or how I got the book?

Or perhaps I could just go one better and post the following at the top of every review:

In compliance with FTC regulations, allow me to explain that what follows is a review–NOT an endorsement. A review is at its heart the expression of the reviewer’s opinion–in this case, my opinion. Regardless of how the book in question ended up in my hands (or computer), I will not insult your intelligence by assuming that you will blindly buy any book I like, or that you’ll avoid reading any book I don’t like. Instead, I’ll give you credit for making up your own mind, and buying and/or reading whatever you think you’ll enjoy.

Do you think that covers my (admittedly large) ass sufficiently?

*You know who I mean
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