The European Commission has warned Facebook, Google, and Twitter. It will take legal action if they fail to crack down fraudulent posts or bring their terms of service in line with EU law. European Commission already received a lot of complaints from consumers. They are targeted by scammers on social media platforms. The users are sometimes also subjected to certain “terms and conditions” which does not abide by the EU consumer law.
The European Commission officials met with representatives from three companies. They told the three companies to update their terms of service to make it more consumer friendly. They also gave an ultimatum to come up with “detailed measures” to stop the scamming posts in one month. If they fail to do so in one month, they will face legal action.
The three social networks believe their terms are entirely EU compliant. But they also agree there is room for improvement. Facebook is working with the EU on new solutions. For Google, the complaints are related to the Google+ social networking platform. Google also said it is working on constructive solutions with authorities regarding the global terms of service. But Twitter declined to make any statement.
Here is what EU ordered Facebook, Twitter, and Google
The EU addressed the issue in two parts. The first is, the three social networking sites have to clarify their terms of service. In practice, this means, social media networks cannot force users to waive mandatory rights like the right not to make any online purchase. Second is, the terms of service will not limit or exclude the liability of social networks with a performance of duty.
The European Union also ordered to remove all fraudulent posts which can mislead customers. These include the following:
[quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]Scams involving payments taken from consumers
Subscription traps where consumers are offered to register for a free trial but are not given clear and sufficient information
Marketing of counterfeited products
Fake promotions like “win a smartphone for 1 € have proliferated over social media which were, in fact, a genuine contest but entailing a hidden long-term subscription for several hundred euros per year[/quotes]
The German government presented a draft bill which says it will impose a fine of €50m on social media which failed to delete the hate speech. The commission also ordered the three social media giants to provide a “dedicated email id.” The dedicated is for consumer protection authorities to flag illegal posts.