Two-thirds of people do not trust recommendations from influencers online

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By Marita Moloney

Almost two-thirds of people do not trust recommendations from influencers on social media, a new survey has found.

The study conducted by iReach found that there is a large degree of scepticism among people when it comes to influencers' activity, with 65% feeling that it is not always clear whether someone has been paid to promote a product.

Despite this, one in five people have purchased a product or service that an influencer has promoted online, yet recommendations from friends and family are by far the most trusted form of endorsement.

The national survey of 1001 people also found that three-quarters of respondents do not trust ads on social media.

Earlier this month, figures released from the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) showed that it received 107 complaints in relation to bloggers last year.

The ASAI advises that social media influencers should identify paid for content with the hashtags 'Ad' or 'Sp'.

Last summer, Rosie Connolly became the first blogger to be included in the ASAI's Complaints Bulletin, when it was claimed that an image of her face posted on social media had been filtered and photoshopped to promote a foundation.

The ASAI considered the advertising likely to be misleading, but that no further action was required as the post had been removed.

Meanwhile, a report released today following an inquiry in the UK into fake news has found that guidelines need to be set out into what is acceptable on social media.

A committee said that social media platforms are behaving like "digital gangsters" and should be forced to comply with a regulated code of ethics to tackle harmful or illegal content on their sites.

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