The UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) and Facebook have partnered up to help teach social media users how to reduce their exposure to online gambling advertisements on social media sites.
The guidance provided by the partnership will address the risks and problems stemming from the high volume of gambling-related messages on social media. It will clarify the different ways that the tools and settings available to Facebook users on their individual accounts can curtail the types of advertisements on their newsfeed.
The guidance that has been made available outlines several ways that the average social media user can curtail gambling ads.
- Hiding Ads: The “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature on Facebook provides information and the ability to remove the ad from the timeline.
- Ad Preference Tool: This tool, available in Facebook settings, allows users to set ad preferences that would help them reduce the number of ads coming from specific advertisers or ad demographics.
- Future Managing Data feature: Facebook is working on a feature that will allow users to opt-in or out of ads tailored to their browsing history and Facebook data.
Earlier this year, the UKGC challenged social media companies to commit to safer online practices around gambling and to reduce the total number of gambling ads available online.
The UKGC Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, said in a press release that,
“Partnering with Facebook to produce this guidance is a welcome step for us in order to offer consumers clear, practical advice, and I hope that this will help them limit the gambling-related content they see when using the platform.”
In the same press release, Rick Kelly, VP of Global Gaming at Facebook, wrote,
“Facebook is committed to supporting a safe and transparent environment for people to control their experiences on our platform. We’re delighted that our partnership with the Gambling Commission will help operators to implement advertising campaigns responsibly, while helping to protect the people who use our services.”
They have produced a four-page guide available as a pdf online and is part of a long term plan to limit and restrict the harm caused by the proliferation of online gambling advertisements. From October 1st, members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) will agree to new ad codes that includes new restrictions on social media ad purchases. It seems that the UKGC, Facebook, and BGC will not completely remove all gambling ads but they want to reduce the harm inflicted on the community from bad actors who do not care about safe gambling or the protection of their customers.
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