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10/22/2009 What If the IAB Ran the Government?


IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg didn't like government intrusion into the blogosphere. He didn't like them placing guidelines with teeth on the Internet. His organization makes guidelines without teeth. The FTC guidelines focus on content and intent. IAB guidelines focus on size, shape and weight.

And it got me thinking: What if the IAB ran things instead of the Fed?

Imaginary Issue 1: Hate Crimes
The Fed plans to strengthen current hate crime laws, with clearer guidelines and stronger sentencing for crimes targeting those of other gender, religion, race ethnicity or political belief.

In response to the new hate crime laws the IAB has instead released its guidelines and recommendations to curb violence against those with different gender, religion, race ethnicity or political belief. The IAB is recommending clothing guidelines so each group can recognize each other to either join them or stay away from them.

"If gays wear purple, tea baggers brown, anti-abortionists stripes and socialists pink, we all know who to avoid. If we see a spot of pink in sea of brown, we'll know something's wrong," said one spokesman. "We may not know what to do about it, but we'll know."

Imaginary Issue 2: Seat Belts

The federal government plans to make wearing seatbelts mandatory in both the front and back seats, in all 50 states and territories. It points to research showing that seatbelt use significantly reduces traffic death and plans to increase penalties for non-use.

In response to the new seat belt laws, the IAB has released alternative guidelines for car safety. From now on it recommends that all cars come in three standard sizes: Big, medium and small.

"We don't think someone should make us strap in," said one spokesman. "The problem is that the cars crashing are of all different sizes. Crashes between similarly sized vehicles result in less damage than those between odd sized vehicles." The IAB's guidelines aim to have big cars crash only with other big cars, while the small cars can avoid them completely.

"As long as you know what to look out for, things will be alright," said the spokesman.

Now back to reality: this was a fun fantasy. But sometimes, maybe oftentimes, real regulation with real consequences can be a good thing. And not something to fear.

And I want to thank the IAB for letting me have so much fun with them. I have not received anything free from them or any other traditional media that has influenced this blog. (See, that was easy)

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