The UK Gambling Commission has joined efforts with Twitter to create guidance on how to help users of the social network who want to limit the amount of gambling-related content they receive.
The Advertising Technology Group Focus on Social Networks
As part of their initiative to challenge the industry and accelerate the process of raising standards, earlier this month the UK Gambling Commission announced the formation of three working groups, one of which to tackle advertising technology, and the latest collaboration with Twitter looks like the first step of many in this direction, with the Commission promising further developments for establishing a safer gambling environment in the near future with other social networks, too.
“Consumer behaviour and technology are changing so quickly that only a bold and innovative approach will allow us to achieve a reduction in the numbers of people experiencing, or at risk from, gambling related harm… If rapid progress is not made then we will have to look at other options, as making gambling safer for consumers is paramount”, Neil McArthur, CEO, UKGC.
Obviously concerned with the findings of a recent Gamble Aware report that children, young people and vulnerable adults have serious exposure to online gambling advertisements through social media, and the recent statistics that show 24 million people in the UK gamble, with 300,000 of them having addiction problems, the Commission, through the Advertising Technology challenge group, seeks ways to implement measures to reduce access to such gambling content.
Users of Twitter Have Filtering Options
The guidance in focus relates to user account profile settings in Twitter in regards to managing interests, the list of keywords associated with individual user activity, turning off notifications to filter out messaging from certain account types such as sports accounts, and using the mute feature to gain control over the overall content by excluding certain words, accounts or conversations.
“… we’re continuing to enforce our policies, specifically around prohibited and restricted ad content as well as assessing the eligibility of ads on our service… to work with industry partners on tools to support their responsible advertising priorities. We’re happy to partner with the Gambling Commission in providing those on Twitter with information on the tools and controls they can use to manage their experience”, Katy Minshall, Head of UK Public Policy, Twitter.
The recent Twitter development shows the determination of the Commission, in line with the Advertising Technology challenge group recommendations for a precautionary approach, to deal in a practical, yet non-intrusive manner so that the risk of the measures to backfire is minimized, with the issue of spreading gambling content which is sucking in more and more people from the vulnerable social groups and eventually leads to gambling addiction problems.