UK’s Online Safety Bill will try to make social media sites and search engines to stop paid-for scam adverts appearing by law.
According to an updated proposal by UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and expected to be presented in the Parliament, platforms will be required to put in place processes to block ads appearing online and remove them if they slip through the net. The intend is to try to block the scam ads that appear like articles or news about celebrities and mislead users to websites were their personal data gets stolen and their bank accounts emptied, or they are lured to place their savings to non existing investments.
A summary of the updated proposal can be found on the UK’s Parliament website.
UK’s government is also launching a consultation into how online advertising is regulated. Within that framework, Harmful or misleading adverts, such as those promoting negative body images, could also be subject to tougher rules and social media influencers could face stronger penalties for failing to declare properly when they are being paid to promote products online. Hashtags including “#ad” or “#spon” are often used in posts, but studies suggest some Instagram stars do not adhere to the rules.
Further clarifications and guidelines are expected by the british communications regulator Ofcom, but among the measures considered are ID checks for those who publish ads, and only official firm being allowed to conduct paid promotions.