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Gambling Commission releases guidance to help consumers on Twitter

29 January 2020

The Gambling Commission has partnered with Twitter to create guidance aimed at supporting users who want to limit the amount of gambling-related content they see on Twitter.

The guidance explains the different ways in which Twitter’s safety tools and settings can be adjusted within an individual account, to help mitigate the risk of exposure to gambling-related messaging and advertisements.

This year the Gambling Commission is also looking to produce similar guidance for users of other social media platforms. Twitter is the first to work with the Gambling Commission on this initiative.

The publication includes guidance around:

  • Managing ‘interests’ within a profile; interests are comprised of a list of keywords, associated to an individual’s Twitter activity.
  • Turning off notifications; this prevents the user from receiving notifications from certain types of accounts they’d like to avoid (such as a sports account).
  • Using the mute feature; this enables a user to have greater control over what they can and can’t see on Twitter by ensuring certain words, accounts and conversations are no longer visible.

Betting advertising is shared widely on social media, with posts having the potential to reach millions of people.

Last October the Commission’s chief executive Neil McArthur raised his concerns to the gambling industry around the exposure of gambling adverts to children, young people and vulnerable adults. He has encouraged gambling businesses to embrace advertising technology and be more socially responsible.

He said: “Advertising spend has surged over recent years with young people and vulnerable adults being exposed to significant levels of online gambling adverts and via social media.

“This level of exposure is a concern and I have challenged the industry to quickly accelerate opportunities to reduce the amount of advertising seen by young people, children and vulnerable adults across all digital platforms.

“Whilst we work on a plan which sets out new standards for how the industry will embrace advertising technology, I hope that this guidance will play a role in helping consumers to limit the gambling-related content they see on Twitter.”

Katy Minshall, Head of UK Public Policy at Twitter, said: "Improving the health of the public conversation is our overall mission as is ensuring those on the service feel safe and supported. With that in mind, 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 - these policies apply to all advertisers and advertisements on Twitter.

We also continue 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."