“Using their own names without mentioning that they work in public relations or as lobbyists, employees of companies with interests in Washington are chattering online to shape opinions in hard-to-detect ways," reported The Washington Post on Saturday.
In, “Tech lobbyists find a powerful disguise online,” Cecilla Kang writes, “PJ Rodriguez, whose Twitter profile says he’s a pop culture maven and cable blogger. He tweets about “American Idol,” Dora the Explorer and wonky tech policy issues, like broadcast jurisdiction at the Federal Communications Commission….What’s not clear is that he is a public relations staffer being supported by such companies as Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable as the Web 2. point person for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (but) Nowhere on his profile does he mention NCTA or provide a link to its site. “
According to the article, Rodriguez, who’s full name is Paul Rodriguez, responded to the reporter, stating, “I think it’s clear to anyone who reads my twitter feed who I am. I don’t say on my profile that I work for NCTA because it feels redundant.”
However, the story also quotes John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, as saying,” It’s a bit of a Wild West, because anyone can be anyone on the web and it’s harder to tell where the line between work and the person’s non-work life is.”