ACCC to probe social media giants over influencers and scams

Influencers, scams and misleading and deceptive conduct would all be included in a new examination of social media by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Aug 16, 2022, updated Aug 16, 2022
The ACCC investigation will include the role of influencers

The ACCC investigation will include the role of influencers

Business and consumers have been invited to make submissions to the ACCC review which will examine the state of competition for social media services in Australia.

The ACCC said it would consider potential consumer issues such as how businesses were using social media advertising, including the use of influencers and sponsored posts.

It would also investigate barriers to entry and how the landscape has changed since the introduction of video site Tik Tok.  Other social media sites such as Youtube, Reddit and Discord would also be included along with BeReal.

“The ACCC will also consider consumers’ experiences with social media, including through the impact of scams and this risk of being exposed to misleading or deceptive content by businesses through social media,” the organisation said.

About $144 million was lost through social media scams in Australia in 2021.

One such scam being conducted through Facebook is luring people in with the promise of buying an airfryer for $3, but once credit card details were submitted they were used to take out more unauthorised payments.

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlied said social media had become an essential tool for businesses.

“We want to hear from businesses and consumers about their experiences with social media services, including with facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik tok and Snapchat,” she said.

“We hope to examine trends in user preferences and engagement over time and consider how users choose social media services.”

In a previous inquiry, the ACCC concluded that Facebook had substantial market power and the latest investigation would provide an update on that.





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