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Book chapter
Reference no. BEP4410
Published by:
Business Expert Press (2016)
Revision date:
Chapter from:
"Social Media Ethics Made Easy: How to Comply with FTC Guidelines"
20 pages


This chapter is excerpted from ‘Social Media Ethics Made Easy: How to Comply with FTC Guidelines'. When you go to buy a product online, book travel, or research a service, do you read the customer reviews? Do you count on those reviews to be from real customers? If you said, yes, then you are like most of us. The problem is that today's reviews have been infiltrated with fake reviews and fake testimonials. It's hard to tell a real review from a fake review in a world where we count on trust and rely more on each other than traditional marketing messages. This book is about truth - how to understand real review from a fake review, why it is important to establish a social media policy at every business and organization, and how to create that policy. Until the Federal Trade Commission started cracking down, there were even cases of people marketing themselves as 'reviewers' on YouTube. They would happily submit reviews for just USD5 or USD10 each. But it gets much more serious. In New York, the Attorney General cracked down on restaurants that were hiring people to submit fake reviews. Over the last several years, as the use of social media has increased, we have seen many instances of ethics violations from fake online reviews, to testimonial posts by people connected with a brand but not revealing the connection, to tweets that try to turn a tragedy into a marketing event. This has prompted a call for ethics training in social media. That is one of the key reasons for this book. At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission has created a series of 'strict' guidelines that instruct businesses and organizations to disclose specific information to protect consumers in ways that are 'clear and conspicuous.' In this book Social Media Ethics Made Easy, we explain the current social / digital marketing landscape, describe why we need social media ethics standards, and how to create and implement a social media ethics policy for your business or organization.


Federal trade commission disclosure; FTC disclosure; Federal trade commission endorsement; FTC endorsement; FTC endorsement requirements; Federal trade commission social media; FTC social media; Federal trade commission social media rules; FTC social media rules; Social media deception; Social media disclosure; Social media endorsements; Social media marketing

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