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Britain to force Big Tech to combat online scams -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : This photo (from Reuters) includes the Twitter, Google and Facebook logos. REUTERS/File Photos

Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters] – Britain declared Tuesday it would make Google (NASDAQ), Facebook(NASDAQ:), Twitter [NYSE:] and all other online platforms stop paying for fraudulent advertisements after being asked by regulators and consumer organizations to do more.

It was stated that the draft law to protect online crimes would require large platforms in order to increase protection against criminals who impersonate celebrities or businesses to steal personal data or make unsafe investments.

Ofcom, the communications regulator will inspect platforms to see if they have implemented systems that prevent or remove false advertisements. According to government statements, it could either block access or fine up to 18million Pounds ($24 Million) or 10% off annual turnover.

In a statement, Culture Secretary Nadine Dories stated that “These amendments to the upcoming Online Safety Bill will help stop fraudsters con people out of hard-earned money using fake internet adverts.”

As more people used social media during COVID-19 lockdowns, online scams from ads on Google, Facebook and Twitter grew, so did the number of victims.

The first six-months of 2021 saw the theft of a British record 754 million pounds in bank scams. That’s almost three times the amount stolen from 2020 according to UK Finance, an industry organization.

A number of online services, responding to FCA pressures, limit adverts for financial products that target companies under FCA supervision.

Anabel Hoult (chief executive at Which?, a consumer advocacy group) stated that this could help to reduce the flood of fraudulent and fake ads appearing on search engines and social media. These advertisements can cause severe financial and emotional damage to innocent victims.

According to the government, it is also conducting a public consult on tightening regulations for online advertising, whether by strengthening self-regulation or creating a new watchdog.

It said that misleading or harmful advertisements, like those that promote negative body images and ads for illegal activities, could be subject to harsher sanctions and rules.

The government stated that any influencer who fails to disclose they have been paid for promoting products via social media platforms could face harsher penalties.

($1 = 0.7629 pounds)

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