Hotels, restaurants and online shops that post glowing reviews about themselves under false identities could face criminal prosecution under new rules that come into force next year.
Businesses which write fake blog entries or create whole wesbites purporting to be from customers will fall foul of a European directive banning them from “falsely representing oneself as a consumer”.
From December 31, when the change becomes law in the UK, they can be named and shamed by trading standards or taken to court.
The Times has learnt that the new regulations also will apply to authors who praise their own books under a fake identity on websites such as Amazon.
Can you imagine how many sites would suddenly turn to vapour if it was illegal to post and work for the same people? Suddenly some of those freepers would have to add disclaimers that they are being PAID to write (dis-inform) and these may or may not be their real opinions and that facts unfavourable to their keepers have been omitted or outrighted lied about.
Either that, or they can let the citizens of the blogosphere "name and shame" them in our own 'special' way.