Instagram is being flooded with thousands of illegal adverts.
Instagram is awesome. That’s why half a billion people around the world use it as a window to the world -- most of them daily.
But now it turns out that the platform is being flooded with thousands of sneaky corporate adverts masquerading as genuine posts -- selling everything from protein shakes to teeth whiteners.
Not only is this illegal, it’s also completely unethical. Instagram has millions of young users who are being unknowingly targeted by corporations. So far, Instagram has shown little interest in clamping down on the problem. Let’s tell Instagram, if it wants to keep our trust, it needs to take action now.
Instagram: clamp down on illegal and unlabelled adverts on your platform!
There are strict rules about posting adverts on social media in many countries, stating that all adverts need to be labelled as such. Those rules are there for good reason: to ensure transparency and to protect users from unscrupulous corporations. Instagram says it marks adverts as “sponsored” -- but new evidence suggests that thousands of ads are slipping through the net.
Last year, a company called Protein World got into trouble for running a poster campaign that promoted an unrealistic body image on the London Underground. The posters were removed from tube stations, but now it seems the corporation has moved over to the less regulated world of Instagram.
An investigation by Forbes suggests that Protein World is getting influential Instagram users to pose with their protein shakes, and failing to label its marketing photos as advertising. And it’s not the only company doing that. A whole host of corporations in the self-improvement industry seem to be doing the same thing -- so it’s now hard for users to know whether they’re looking at authentic posts or corporate creations..
It’s a huge breach of our trust. Instagram shouldn’t be exposing its millions of young users to sneaky corporate advertising without their knowledge. If it wants to keep our trust, Instagram needs to crack down on illegal adverts and start enforcing advertising rules to the letter.
Let’s tell Instagram to clamp down on illegal adverts.