Whether the FTC will come down harder in posts involving life-safety issues is unclear. A media representative did, however, indicate that “deceptive claims that implicate serious health concerns” are “always a high priority for the Commission.” He cited a recent case against Aromaflage mosquito repellent that included the company’s co-owner and a relative writing 5-star Amazon reviews of the company’s products.
Of course, it’s one thing to post about loving a protein shake you never drink, and another to defend a company accused, in the wake of a fatal accident, of significant life-safety lapses, all without providing any supporting evidence. In a Fake News moment, FlyNYON ambassador Seibert (@beholdingeye) even went so far as to deny the company’s role in the accident. When a commenter responded that “five fellow photographers suffered and ultimately perished while in the hands of FLYON [sic],” Seibert shot back in typical online vitriol: “IT WAS NOT at the hands of FlyNYON. They unfortunately happened to be FlyNYON customers in a chartered helicopter. Your [sic] painting an incredibly vague picture with only one color and brush my friend.”
When reached for comment, Seibert said he didn’t realize he was potentially violating the FTC guidelines on disclosure. “I was unaware of my responsibility, and have updated my bio to reflect that relationship,” he responded in an email. “I am a recent hire as an employee of NYONAir. I would never encourage anyone to disregard any safety concerns, and don't feel that any of my posts reflect otherwise.” Fruchtman, another FlyNYON ambassador, refused to address the same questions, and even accused this writer of posting a fake negative review of his mattress store online.
What these players should have done, say experts, is be more transparent, and post with a lot of caution. “It’s advantageous for companies to tell their story to news outlets and reporters covering the story,” says Terry Fahn, a senior executive at Sitrick and Company, a PR firm noted for crisis management work. “That means engaging directly in a professional, non-adversarial manner to convey your side of the story, instead of taking a combative role or attacking those covering the story. Be very considerate and thoughtful about what you say and how you say it.”
Source : https://www.popsci.com/social-media-influencers-FTC-federal-guidelines