Social media platforms under fire from EU Commission for slow consumer changes

The European Commission has spoken out and criticised a number of popular social media firms for not actioning fraud changes quicker.

The risk and likelihood of an internet user being scammed or a victim of fraud is on the rise, especially on social media.

To tackle this, Google Facebook and Twitter were asked in November 2016 to implement changes that tackled fraud and the scam culture on social media platforms, as well as ensuring their terms and conditions are fair for all users.

The firms agreed to amend the following:

  • the terms of services limiting or totally excluding the liability of social media networks in connection with the performance of the service.
  • the terms requiring consumers to waive mandatory EU consumer rights, such as their right to withdraw from an online purchase
  • the terms depriving consumers of their right to go to court in their member state of residence, and providing the application of California law
  • the term releasing the platform from the duty to identify commercial communications and sponsored content

These amendments were due to be made by March 2018.

It seems that two out of three did not make this priority, as the European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova, has highlighted.

While Google+ have recently fulfilled their requirements with recent changes, Facebook and Twitter have only partially implemented change.

With the deadline approaching, Facebook and Twitter changes have stalled due to the changes to their liability and actions taken in respect of content removal, according to the Commission.

Ms Jourova said: “As social media networks are used as advertising and commercial platforms, they must fully respect consumer rules.

“I am pleased that the enforcement of EU rules to protect consumers by national authorities is bearing fruit, as some companies are now making their platforms safer for consumers. However, it is unacceptable that this is still not complete and it is taking so much time.”

Facebook and Twitter are showing themselves as not being fully committed to protecting consumers. They have not yet responded to the Commissioner’s comments but time will tell if they take the criticism on board and change their priorities.

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