Author: Jeff Julin
On Sunday March 28th, The Denver Post ran an article titled Comments On-line Often Manufactured by Special-Interests Groups by Andy Vuong. The article talks about using posting as key part of influencer campaigns.
The article touches on the fact that the Federal Trade Commission now requires bloggers to disclose any “material connections” they may have with organizations they blog about. This is a good thing, but Andy goes on to point out that political communications receives the “highest level of free speech protection,” which allows anonymous blogging and posting.
Protecting freedom of speech is vital to an open democracy. However, with that freedom comes the responsibility for accurate, truthful information. I believe part of this includes giving the intended audience some context of who the blogger/poster is and what connection they have with the subject they are posting about.
For example, if employees are posting against legislation that affects the company they work for, then they should share that information. In this day and age of massive amounts of information, we all need better context to be able to judge the validity and importance to us of the information we choose to read. Anonymous posting about political issues serves no one well except for political strategists who can’t win campaigns without using obfuscation and innuendo.
Those that leave comments on blogs need to tell us who you are and why we should care about your opinion. Citizens should discount any message where the sender doesn’t have the decency to include their name and affiliation with their post. So let’s hear it for transparency!
Next time, we’ll talk about those people out there who never use their turn signal.