Disclosing Your Employment Or Other Relationship When You Are Responding on Social Media / Blogging / Vlogging

Standard Disclaimer:

I am not an attorney and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a legal expert who is familiar with the area of legal expertise you need.

Additional Disclaimer:

Specific FTC links: https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-revises-online-advertising-disclosure-guidelines/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf (PDF file) and/or https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking.

I wanted to thank for the Ting employee for mentioning they worked for Ting when they responded to my post. It’s important if you have any kind of other personal, employment, or other professional relationship to disclose that relationship. For example, if I was talking about my sister and her husband’s electronic repair business on social media or my blog, I need to make it clear that we are related. I am not mentioning their business by name and on the off-chance I later mention it in a future blog post, I would disclose it in the post.  Likewise, if company X offered me free or discounted products for review purposes,  I should make it clear. If you include or share affiliate links, again make it clear the links are affiliate links. That doesn’t mean you note it at the header, footer, or on the side of your website. I use #ad that’s on its own line and include (affiliate link) next to the link if it’s an affiliate link.

In all of my reviews on this blog, I have never been compensated. I probably would never be compensated because I would make it clear that if I receive money, free or discounted products, etc. from a company, I will be harder on the review than if I didn’t.

I bring this up because according to some Facebook group members, a dice company responds to some critics of the company without informing the critics they are employees of the dice company. I haven’t seen the posts as I don’t belong to the groups where the posts were made. However, based on the reports from the groups I am in, the comments make it clear the employees appear to be intentionally hiding their employment relationship with the company. Also, based on a post I am working on, I am pretty sure I would be booted out of any groups that support the actions.

Too often, I see bloggers, vloggers, and Facebook / other social media outlets where somebody doesn’t clearly disclose a relationship. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made it clear the guidelines – see link above, repeated – https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking to follow and while many include these guidelines on their websites, it is painfully obvious they either didn’t read them or don’t understand them based on the number of times they violate them on their websites. I see plenty of  big names in genealogy and DNA bloggers who are guilty of ignoring the guidelines.

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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