EU makes sock puppets illegal

February 11th, 2007

Sock puppetSock puppets and sybils beware, using a new EU consumer protection law fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’.

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’.

The change is part of a Europe-wide overhaul of the consumer protection laws. It will oblige businesses not to mislead consumers and also will outlaw aggressive commercial practices such as aggressive doorstep selling, bogus ‘closing down’ sales and pressurising parents through their children to buy products.”