While I'm no fan of the OP, I'm very confused right now. Did I miss something here?
For the record, my reply may have been stronger than necessary, but this is closer to what I'd call an overreaction:
I just call that reaction the Internet.
It's not really a big deal. I remember when the FTC came out with this ruling. Everyone was scared it was going to destroy online reviews, all it did was stop with the bullshit Mommy Bloggers endorsing the big products and made people realize they have to answer to someone.
Is it a good thing? Sure. Does everyone abide by it? Nope. Are there people out there bought off by brands? Definitely. Are there people who shouldn't be claiming to be experts posing as them? You bet ya.
The OP makes some points with these
1. You must fully and conspicuously disclose the nature of the relationship. You don't have to say how much you were paid, but you do have to say that you were paid, or you received some benefit.
2. You can't lie. If you say you rode some board and it has X specific benefit, you need to have the expertise and evidence to say that and it has to be true. If you don't, both you and the vendor are liable for false advertising.
3. You can't make claims that you aren't qualified to make. If you write as though you are an expert, but you are not, you're violating the law.
1. You shouldn't be paid to do a review ever. This is what bit Snowboard Mag in the ass with the Platinum Picks, it's why Good Wood is a joke. If you're going to review a product just fucking do it whether it's good, bad, or indifferent. If you believe in it you believe in it if you don't you don't.
Here's an email from a brand I received back in 2010.
***** snowboards will be releasing our new product at SIA this season and would like to be on good terms with angrysnowboarder and not be a Tyrant Snowboards If there is anything we can do to facilitate a friendly atmosphere (ie. Product, hint, hint) that would be great. We will also be dropping our new site in about a month with our catalog.
How would you take that? I took it as being bribed and had a lengthy conversation with the owner of the brand where I showed him the FTC listing. Needless to say it opened the guys eyes and things became a lot different. More people do need to be well aware of the FTC ruling and be up front.
2. So many "experts" out there that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Granted it's snowboarding and no 2 runs are ever going to be the same as well as rider style, etc etc. Then there's the fact it's kind of an interpretive opinion on how a board rides. You need to give as many facts as you can about it. But it poses the question of "what makes someone an expert in snowboarding?" Which actually wouldn't be a bad topic for discussion.
3. See point two. I won't lie I'm a harsh asshole to anyone doing reviews. Why? Because I see so much misinformation being put out on the web by people that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground (as mentioned before). Case in point watch any video from Board Insiders. I can't stand how they mislabel tech from brand to brand. You have a board with a cheat sheet on the back and you can't tell the difference between Banana C2 and R.C. Tech? But that's another topic.
The short of it is be prepared to cover your ass, have the experience to back up what you said, and more importantly don't be a fucking shill. The last one should be blatantly obvious but people want free shit, or to be part of the cool kid club, or whatever.
As for Jeds harsh response for being called out for having posted three recommendations. I've been in his shoes, you have to build credibility with readers to gain their trust. Defending something you've created is always going to be something you have to do with a website if you want to remain credible. Hate him for it, but it should be viewed as a more admirable quality. Plus it's the Internet once you get over that you can't make everyone happy and you'll always have haters you'll realize you're on the right track.
Anyways just my .02 cents from a guy that's written a few thousand online reviews and hates doing it.