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Internet Ad Scams Under Microscope in the U.K

U.K. Government | March 14, 2022

Internet Ad Scams
On March 12, the U.K government announced additional amendments to the scope of the Online Safety Bill. These amendments focus on protecting people from advertising scams.

The Online Safety Bill mandates that social media companies like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and search engines like Google need to protect people from both user-generated scams and prepaid fraudulent ads.

Nadine Dorries, U.K Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said in a statement that the British government had taken these steps to make the ad industry practices accountable, ethical, and transparent.

“They’re putting real teeth into this bill,” said Pedram Tabibi, partner at law firm Meltzer Lippe. “This could be the beginning of additional regulations and a sign of further scrutiny in the digital space.”

“They’re putting real teeth into this bill,” said Pedram Tabibi, partner at law firm Meltzer Lippe. “This could be the beginning of additional regulations and a sign of further scrutiny in the digital space.”

Thanks to the current draft of this bill, online users will be protected from fake ads that collect user data. Social media platforms and search engines will have to adapt proportionate systems and processes to prevent the publication and/or hosting of fraudulent advertising on their service. They will also have to remove the ads when they are made aware of fraudulent ads. Catfishing romance scams and fake stock market tips that people post through images, videos, and comments will also fall under the bill’s amendments.

This bill means additional vetting and reviewing of ads to make sure they aren’t scams. It could slow down some of the ads from getting into the market, as told by David O. Klein, Managing Partner at Klein Moynihan Turco to Adweek.

A higher rate card for advertisers is expected because of the costs that will be incurred for getting the ads reviewed. A legitimate advertiser may end up paying more to be whitelisted by an agency to expedite the ad review. Every time a legitimate ad is flagged as fraudulent, the advertiser may incur further costs.

The Online Safety Bill was in the pipeline for a couple of years and is the U.K government’s step towards regulating online content and speech.

Spotlight

How does one tell what Internet sources are reliable? Viewers explore ways to identify bias and propaganda on the Internet while sifting through the various influences that may be behind some web content. Spotlighting key aspects of propaganda and bias-driven writing, viewers also gain important tips for differentiating between advertising and useful, scholarly material. Part of the "Internet Research and Information Literacy: Effective Strategies and Cautionary Tales" series.w

Spotlight

How does one tell what Internet sources are reliable? Viewers explore ways to identify bias and propaganda on the Internet while sifting through the various influences that may be behind some web content. Spotlighting key aspects of propaganda and bias-driven writing, viewers also gain important tips for differentiating between advertising and useful, scholarly material. Part of the "Internet Research and Information Literacy: Effective Strategies and Cautionary Tales" series.w

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