Making Influencers Honest: The Role of Social Media Platforms in Regulating Disclosures
in Catalina Goanta and Sofia Ranchordas (eds), The Regulation of Social Media Influencers (Edward Elgar 2020)
Posted: 3 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 6, 2020
This chapter examines the rules applicable to influencer marketing, and whether the five selected social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest) themselves comply with the relevant legal obligations. The first part elucidates the laws governing hidden marketing in Germany and the United Kingdom, in particular the implementing laws and associated case law under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. It then compares and assesses the platforms’ standard terms by deploying an empirical legal approach, namely content analysis. It is revealed that some platforms comply almost entirely with the determined rules, while others do not address disclosures at all. The chapter argues that platform governance through private regulation is suitable to address some of the concerns of hidden influencer marketing, but that a multifaceted approach is necessary, building upon the wealth of policy options considered by European and national regulators.
Keywords: Platform governance, disclosure of hidden marketing, standard terms, consumer protection, influencers, unfair commercial practices
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