UAE now requires licenses for ‘social media influencers’

The UAE says it will now require anyone conducting “commercial activities” through social media, on channels like YouTube, to register for a government-issued license. (REUTERS)
Updated 06 March 2018
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UAE now requires licenses for ‘social media influencers’

DUBAI: The UAE says it will now require anyone conducting “commercial activities” through social media to register for a government-issued license.
The new rules announced Tuesday target so-called “social media influencers,” who parlay their Internet fame into advertising products.
Officials said the new rules would help ensure “that media material respects the religious, cultural and social values of the UAE.”
Those affected need to register by the end of June or face 5,000 dirham ($1,360) fines.
The UAE requires journalists working in the country to have government-issued press cards. People have also been jailed for their comments online.


Woman slams social media firms for baby ads after stillbirth

Updated 13 December 2018
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Woman slams social media firms for baby ads after stillbirth

WASHINGTON: A woman whose child was stillborn has slammed the targeted advertising of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram after she returned home from the hospital and kept getting baby-related sales pitches.
Gillian Brockell, a journalist with The Washington Post, said that if those social media giants were clever enough to know she was pregnant they should also have figured out she’d lost the baby.
She shared the bad news last month in a tweet.
“I know you knew I was pregnant,” Brockell wrote to the companies in a letter posted Wednesday on The Washington Post and Twitter.
“It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags — #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, silly me! I even clicked once or twice on the maternity wear ads Facebook served up.”
“But didn’t you also see me googling ‘braxton hicks vs. pre-term labor’ and ‘baby not moving’?,” Brockell added.
“Did you not see my three days of social media silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me?
“And then the announcement post with keywords like ‘heartbroken’ and ‘problem’ and ‘stillborn’ and the 200 teardrop emoticons from my friends?
“Is that not something you could track?“
Facebook’s vice president of advertising Rob Goldman responded to Brockell apologetically, lamenting her “painful experience with our products.”
“We have a setting available that can block ads about some topics people may find painful — including parenting.
“It still needs improvement, but please know that we’re working on it & welcome your feedback,” Goldman wrote.
Brockell said she knew there was such a setting but that it was not easy to find at first, especially amid all her grieving.
“We never asked for the pregnancy or parenting ads to be turned on; these tech companies triggered that on their own, based on information we shared,” Brockell wrote.
“So what I’m asking is that there be similar triggers to turn this stuff off on its own, based on information we shared.”
She said that after she blocked the baby ads, she got ads on how to adopt a child.
dw/bp