The issue of conflict of interest in social media has grown from an ethical discussion to a legal requirement. Under new Federal Trade Commission guidelines, material connections with special interests must be disclosed.
But how do you disclose conflict of interest in 140 characters? And how do you let readers know you received serious payola or just a review copy of a book?
I stumbled on a service called cmp.ly which has developed a cool solution. Cmp.ly offers links to disclosure sites that detail your level of potential conflict. According to the founders, “CMP.ly disclosures follow a standard naming convention that is easy for readers to understand and can be used for disclosures in print, online, SMS, tweets or other digital communications.”
Let’s say you consult with a nutritional product company and you tweet a link to a story or study that puts the company in a favorable light. Just put http://cmp.ly/4 on the end of your tweet and you’re clean (or cleaner than before).
So it seems disclosure isn’t just for doctors anymore. Everyone from mommybloggers to techgeeks will be airing their connections soon. Cmp.ly makes it a little easier to do good.
Look for it on my posts when I’m feeling conflicted.