by John on October 1, 2020

UKGC partners with Facebook to reduce gambling related advertising

The British Gambling Commission  (UKGC) has teamed up with social media giant Facebook to fight against gambling-related advertisements on its platform. The new guidance aims to ensure responsible gaming advertising, meaning to limit the number of gambling ads that users see while scrolling the News Feed on Facebook.

The Gambling Commission is the most authoritative regulatory system in the United Kingdom and as they announce, the guidance is an important step in avoiding Facebook users from accidentally clicking on unwanted content. Facebook users who have expressed dissatisfaction about the issue, now can read the guidance where they can see how to adjust the social media platform’s safety tools and settings. This way, everybody can manage their Newsfeed and decide whether they want to see this kind of adverts or not.

Changes in the Facebook consumer guide

Specifically, the initiative includes

  1. Hiding Ads – users will be able to detect how relevant the current ad is for them. If they don’t want it to appear on their Newsfeed anymore, they can simply just click on a new function that will hide all the ads from the specific advertiser.
  2. Ad preferences tool – now you will have the ability to review advertisers you have recently seen ads from and determine topics you would like to see or reduce the number of ads from the specific advertiser.
  3. Managing data – this feature allows users to control their data so that they won’t be targeted anymore based on what’s listed on their Facebook profile.

As Rick Kelley, vice-president of global gaming on Facebook says, reducing the risk of gambling-related ads is essential for providing a safe environment for their users and control their experiences. The company is dedicated to increasing its credibility for the users which is why partnering with UK’s Gambling Commission was a huge step in implementing advertising campaigns reasonably to protect people who use their service.

The new guidance is the part of the challenge introduced by UKGC’s Chief Executive Neil McArthur to use the technology more wisely and prevent the children and all the vulnerable people from gambling-related content.

However, Facebook isn’t the first social media platform that decided to join forces against gambling ads. A year ago another social networking leader, Twitter also joined the UK Gambling Commission to provide similar guidance to its users to limit unwanted ads across the platform.

Managing unappealing content is indeed a crucial step for making social media platforms more user-friendly but implementing this initiative only in countries like the United Kingdom is quite a hypocrisy because there are many countries out there where the promotion of casinos, lotteries, bookmakers, and other parts of the gambling industry is a concerning issue for the users but no one has taken any action to limit displaying this kind of adverts for example, from Georgian users. Everybody agrees that popping up kind of unrelatable ads can be disturbing and annoying, but if Facebook wants to make its platform more appropriate, partnering with UK’s Gambling Commission and targeting only on the users from the United Kingdom won’t change the global picture. This is why taking further actions and expanding policies on other countries should be considered, as responsible advertising has to be available to everyone for sure.

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