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Regulating Ads in Social Media Saturday 2009-09-19

WPN, Web Pro News reveals that there are investigations under way on how and if the US government should regulate ads and other forms of promotion on social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

This of course raises some questions. An intervention by government on what can be said on the internet, is seen by many as an attack on freedom of speech. This is the traditional view on the web that spawned the EFF Blue Ribbon Campaign for freedom of speech in February 1996. At that time business hadn’t yet understood how to make money on the web, and the question was less complicated.

In this second millennium things are quite different, and with the broad electronic highways and new technique everything human is present on the web. We by things, listen to music and watch movies, and we live part of our lives in a virtual world, that reflects the “real world”. In fact the Internet is part of the real world. So I think it is inevitable, that the need for regulation of what you can do on the Internet will grow. Already you can commit many types of crime on the internet, which has to be sanctioned.

When it comes to ads or other forms of payed promotion, regulations are there for new papers and television, to make consumers aware of what they are reading. An argument against state supervision is that people will understand what is and what is not payed promotion. I don’t think that’s always the case, and why should it be any different than reading a news magazine or watching television. The tricks always always be the same.

I’m one of the early users of Internet, and my blog is carrying the blue ribbon, so I’m really sorry to admit, that as the web has matured, it’s become more and more like the rest of the human domain.

So lawmakers, come on, but be careful and let us be as free on the Internet as possible!