Saudi Trade Ministry closes 75 social media accounts for promoting fake goods

The ministry has been monitoring advertisements posted on social media websites. (SPA)
Updated 12 March 2017
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Saudi Trade Ministry closes 75 social media accounts for promoting fake goods

RIYADH: The Ministry of Trade and Investment closed more than 75 accounts on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, for posting thousands of ads for fake goods, Al-Jazirah daily reported on Saturday.
The ministry said it took the step to protect the estimated 1.5 million followers of the accounts falling victim to these fake promotional items.
Dozens of such accounts regularly air such fraudulent advertisements.
The ministry has been monitoring advertisements posted on social media websites, especially those that appear to be suspicious products, or that seek to deceive people.
The undersecretary for consumer protection at the ministry, Fahd Al-Hithli, said that the ministry has drafted an e-commerce law that is currently being studied by specialists.
The objective of the law is to support e-commerce by creating a safe environment that the public can trust, and which can protect them against deception and fraud, said the official.
He added that the new draft identifies its applications, treatment and protection mechanism of personal data in line with legislation governing e-commerce; it deals with e- advertising, regulations, termination of contracts and delivery of goods.
Al-Hithli also announced the launch of the “marouf” initiative, an electronic platform that allows owners of e-commerce websites and productive families to practise their commercial activities through social media platforms and websites by being issued certificates that prove they are registered with marouf.
Over 7,000 e-shops are registered on marouf.
Al-Hithli said that the project is the result of the Trade and Investment Ministry’s efforts to fight social media commercial practices that are harmful.
Other initiatives supporting e-commerce were launched in cooperation with the Trust for Business Services Co.