Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nordic countries tell Facebook to stop ads

23 November 2012, 08:36

Oslo - Facebook should stop unsolicited advertising to users in Nordic countries or face legal action, the Norwegian consumer agency said on Thursday.

The agency, like its counterparts in the Nordic region, wants to put an end to the unsolicited advertisements that appear on users' news feeds.

It has sent a letter to the European Commission to determine whether Facebook is in line with the EU's directive on privacy and electronic communication - and possibly to make amendments to rules drawn up before Facebook was founded.

"It is prohibited to send electronic advertisements to consumers who haven't given their consent, either by email or SMS," consumer mediator Gry Nergaard told AFP.

"We think that some of the advertising that Facebook calls 'sponsored stories' is beginning to look like unsolicited electronic messages," she said.

Depending on the response from European authorities and Facebook, Norwegian officials may undertake legal action to put an end to the practice.

"Sponsored stories" are advertisements that show up on a Facebook user's page informing him or her that one of his contacts, or "friends", whose name and or photo may also appear, "likes" a product, giving the false impression that the product or company is being endorsed by the friend.

"It has evolved even further," Nergaard said. "Now you can receive an advertisement without the mention that your friend 'liked' it," she said.

No consent

Facebook, which is hugely popular worldwide but is struggling to generate advertising revenue, claims it is abiding by European and Norwegian laws.

Its spokesperson in northern Europe, Jan Fredriksson, said users could choose to block this type of advertising in their settings.

But Nergaard said it was not enough to provide an "opt out" option, the key issue was that Facebook did not have users' prior consent.

The European Commission was to examine the issue in the near future, she said.

Facebook in June settled a $10m lawsuit from users in the US who claimed their names, images and other information were improperly used in "sponsored stories".




Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...