Dr. Hayleigh Bosher, Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at Brunel, recently submitted evidence on influence culture to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
The Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee inquiry will examine the power of influencers on social media, how influencer culture operates, and will consider the absence of regulation on the promotion of products or services, aside from the existing policies of individual platforms. Dr. Bosher’s evidence argues that:
1. Influencer should be considered as an occupation, defined by the tasks that the influencer does.
2. More needs to be done to protect social media users, including influencers. Preventative measures to limit opportunities for immature judgment that lead to harmful consequences are required. The current bottom-up approach is ineffective, not least because the law is inadequate to support meaningful enforcement and therefore does not provide deterrence.
3. Liability should be at the least be shared between the stakeholders and should be fixed in order that it cannot be contractually overridden.
4. Advertisers and platforms should take more responsibilities in safe-guarding influencers and users.
5. Influencer culture lacks transparency, the rules are vague, and enforcement is weak.