Determining regulations and laws in a region with 28 member states is no walk in the park however within the legal frameworks of the EU and Council of Europe, there generally has always been a broad variety and strong emphasis on consumer’s rights and protection- and social media networks are no exception.
An increased number of complaints by consumers who have been victims of fraud or scams on social websites led to European consumer authorities expressing their concerns on social giants Facebook, Twitter and Google.
Most complaints were related to the terms of service that are not in line with EU consumer law, such as the right to withdraw an online purchase, fake promotions or hidden terms.
The authorities and the Commission sent letters to the companies in November stating their service terms broke EU consumer protection law and urged them to address the areas of concern. A meeting was just held 16 March where EU consumer authorities and the European Commission discussed proposed solutions with said companies.
The three companies reached an agreement on two areas that require alteration:
• Unfair terms and conditions
• Addressing fraud and scams that mislead consumers
The big three have one month to come up with detailed measures on how to comply with the EU regulatory framework. The final solution is left to the Commission and Consumer authorities to enforce action.
Recently Germany made an especially strong stand with social networks to handle fake news effectively. The proactive movement in social media in EU shows the region taking matters into their own hands, separate from the rest of the world, in inspiring quality, social responsibility and personal rights for the wellbeing of its citizens.