Instagram to crackdown on paid social media influencers

NEW YORK: Instagram is set to crack down on social media influencers involved in promotional posting without telling their followers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had investigated the issue of hidden advertising and was concerned that Instagram was not doing enough to tackle the problem. Social media influencers can get paid considerable amounts by charging companies to promote products with posts that can be seen by their thousands of followers.

Facebook Ireland, which operates Instagram in the UK, has committed to a package of measures including prompting users to clearly disclose if a post has been paid for, and use technology and algorithms to spot posts for which this has not been done. Clear labeling of incentivized posts is required under UK consumer protection law so that people are not misled.

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Instagram will now make regular reports on its progress in tackling the problem to the CMA, which said the commitments apply to all Instagram users in the UK as well as anyone globally who directs their posts towards UK users. The CMA said it has not made a finding on whether Instagram’s practices have breached consumer protection law.

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