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Instagram targets rule-breaking influencers

October 17, 2020 8:20 am

Instagram says it will do more to catch influencers who fail to disclose when they have been paid for their posts.

It follows an investigation by a UK watchdog which found the platform was failing to protect consumers from being misled.

Instagram will also report users who inadequately label their posts to the businesses whose products they endorse.

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In the UK, social-media stars have to make clear if they are being paid by a company to promote its business.

They often do this by including the hashtag ‘#ad’ in such posts.

Instagram’s new tools, which will be rolled out over the next year, include prompt requiring influencers to confirm whether they have received incentives to promote a product or service before they can publish their post, and new algorithms built to spot potential advertising content.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its investigation had shown that many influencers were not adhering to the rules.

The watchdog called Instagram’s move “an important behavioural shift” for social media platforms.

“This will make it much harder for people to post an advert on Instagram without labelling it as such,” a spokesman said.

Last month, research found that “more than three-quarters” of influencer adverts on Instagram buried their disclosures within their posts.

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