A Caution Against False Blogging…

1: It’s possible to blog anonymously. …plus 1: Blogs are increasingly useful sources of opinions and reviews, helping people to determine where to spend their money. …equals 2: Some businesses have discovered that they can blog anonymously as fake customers, saying wonderful things about themselves and increasing their business. It was bound to happen. Some people call it creative marketing. Some people call it evil. I call it a grey area in a set of new standards that are still being defined.A great example of this was the 2006 Wal-Marting Across America blog. Basically, a couple travelled across the U.S. staying in Wal-Mart parking lots and writing about how wonderful Wal-Mart is. It was a beautiful creation until word broke loose that Wal-Mart was secretly paying for the blog. The public, as you might imagine, got rather angry about the lack of disclosure. Now, if you go to the site, all you’ll see is a letter from the writers to their angry audience. I’m particularly fond of the line, “Even these personal attacks wonÂ’t sour my feelings about Wal-Mart.” The writers may be genuine Wal-Mart fans, but the fact that they didn’t disclose their corporate sponsorship is going unforgiven by the Internet at large. In Europe (but not the United States?), they’re passing laws that will subject businesses with false blogs to criminal prosecution. The laws will go into effect Dec 31. This also applies to fake reviews on Amazon.com and other review websites.Hint: Now might be a good time to tell your favorite under-handedly self-promoting business that they should knock this kind of behavior off for their own good.

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One Response to “A Caution Against False Blogging…”

  1. Allison L Says:

    That’s interesting cause the one time I tried to stay in a Wal-Mart parking lot, I didn’t get a very warm reception from the staff… maybe it’s because I was in a car and not an RV?