Federal Government Cracks Down on Facebook Fan Pages

Prominent users of Facebook won't be exempt from controversial new Federal Trade Commission guidelines that keep tabs on blogger freebies and giveaways, according to Richard Cleland, associate director for the FTC's advertising division. The agency absolutely plans to keep tabs on social networks as well as blogs in accordance with revised regulations that could see violators fined up to $11,000, he said.

Here's a sample scenario: a celebrity or other prominent figure with loads of friends on Facebook receives free hotel says from Hotel Chain X in exchange for running Hotel Chain X ads on his or her blog. If that person then signs up as a Facebook fan of Hotel Chain X--which, remember, could mean that the person's name can show up for his or her Facebook friends alongside Hotel Chain X display ads on the social network--he or she could be held liable by the FTC.

"It would be the same thing if you were going to pay the celebrity a thousand dollars to go register as a fan," Cleland said. "In that case, there wouldn't be any question about it."

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told CNET News that the social network doesn't have anything concrete to say in reaction.
Full story:  CNET

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