French social media stars will face the wrath of the country’s lawmakers – including heavy fines and potential two-year jail terms – if they fail to be fully transparent about digitally enhanced photos and payments for promoting schemes and products.
A widely-supported new bill will make French nationals who earn a living from their social media status legal subjects, meaning they have to be honest with their followers on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok about whether they’ve been paid for posts.
Instagram account Vos stars en réalité (literally, ‘Your stars in reality’), run by an anonymous blogger known only as Audrey, frequently scrutinises French-speaking influencers, often with millions of followers.
The blogger has worked with French Parliamentarians to help draft the new private member’s bill designed to stop fans of French celebrities, many who reside in Dubai, being misled online.
It’s thought the country has around 150,000 influencers making their living from social media. French reality TV star Maeva Ghennam, who has 3.3 million Instagram fans, has been criticised over posts promoting labiaplasty in the past – but hasn’t breached laws.
In recent weeks, Ghennam has said she won’t have any more cosmetic enhancements. Lifestyle influencer Julia Paredes, who has 1 million followers, welcomes the new legislation.
She told The Sunday Times that she had never actively encouraged her fans to undertake some of the cosmetic procedures she’s shared on her post, including lip fillers.