Anyone who follows my pages / accounts on Facebook and Instagram has probably already noticed that I provide my latest posts with the nice word “advertising”. One or the other may also have noticed the post in which I expressed my frustration with the General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR) and the associated rules for social media site operators. It’s just annoying to live in Germany / Europe and to share his hobby with the public.
The problem? Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WordPress and Co. keep statistics about the visitors and store their IP addresses and activity behavior. However, this is not allowed in Germany without first informing the user and asking for permission. Social media operators are usually located outside the area of influence of these laws and are thus not liable. As a site operator, I have no influence on the data usage behavior, but I’m in the liability, because I “help” to collect data. I can´t do anything against – except maybe delete my pages and accounts. Strictly speaking, I break laws with my hobby.
Now you might think that everyone who joins Facebook and Co. will be notified when registering for this data usage and thus gives his consent. Unfortunately the courts are very different and at the moment the whole situation is rather spongy and hard to judge. Facebook z.Bsp. wants to come up with something in the near future, so that side operators are no longer with one leg in prison, but when …?
The second problem is the possible classification of my contributions as surreptitious advertising. Actually, I do not advertise and usually buy my clothes and accessories myself. When I link the brands, so that like-minded people also have the opportunity to buy these great things. Almost an exchange of interests. However, that too is strictly punishable in Germany, because I could be considered as an “influencer”. And when I mark/link the photographer (with whom I have a shooting agreement and which I link because the contract is so regulated) or also shops and designers, I do advertising. So now I underwrite my posts with the word “Werbung” (German for Advertising) even if I find that really idiotic. Anyone who cares about my clothes or my cooperations and follows the link is usually aware of what he’s doing there.
How simple it seems to be for Models in other countries, for example from the USA. I follow many girls with the same hobbies and they post and link quite carefree. Luckily – so I have the opportunity to get inspiration and shopping suggestions. In other countries, social media may still be what it is meant to be: a platform to exchange ideas and communicate freely away from the liver.
In that sense, I hope that I can not get in trouble for my hobby and continue to share my passion with you. Because I love that too much.