The Check My Ads Institute, a non-profit advertising watchdog group, has recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against X.com, formerly known as Twitter. The organization alleges that X.com is disguising some of its posts as advertisements. This complaint calls for an investigation into the advertising and business practices of the social media platform.
X.com, which is now owned by Elon Musk, has undergone several changes since he acquired it a year ago. One of the notable changes is the introduction of a fee for users to have their accounts verified.
According to Check My Ads, in early September, they noticed an issue with X.com’s labeling of ads. The organization invited others to contribute examples, and the response was overwhelming, with hundreds of unlabeled ads reported.
Previously, advertisements on X.com were clearly labeled and differentiated from non-paid content on users’ timelines with a “Promoted” label in the lower-left corner. However, Check My Ads claims that there is currently no distinction between ads and non-paid content.
This alleged practice has coincided with a significant decline in advertising revenue for X.com since Musk took over. A report by Reuters stated that revenue in August was down 60% compared to the previous year.
We reached out to both X.com and the FTC for comment on the Check My Ads complaint but received no immediate responses.