X. While scrolling through the Following feed on Mac using the Chrome web browser, we encountered some unlabeled ads alongside other posts from people we follow Did Properly display the “Ad” label at the top right of the post.
Since many of the ads in
It’s unclear whether the problem is a glitch in X’s ad platform or a deliberate change to trick consumers into believing that some ads are regular posts from accounts they follow.
In our tests, we found a lot of unlabeled ads from accounts we didn’t follow. In fact, the only indication that they were an advertisement was by clicking on the three-dot menu at the top-right of the post. When you click this menu on an ad, you are presented with various engagement options, such as “Not interested in this ad” Or “Why this advertisement?” Plus tools to follow an account, mute it, block it, and more.
In some cases, the unlabeled ads were from different NFL teams — according to examples sent by a tipster — but when we tried to reproduce the problem ourselves TechCrunch also found several other posts that didn’t display ad labels. Were staying. (This took a lot of scrolling and clicking!)
Problems with ads Reply and Retweet updates made to its ad labeling format in July.
Now, the word “Ad” appears at the top right of a post, next to the poster’s name and @username – a placement that some critics said makes ads less noticeable.
However, those posts were still technically labeled as advertisements, so X was not breaking any rules around deceptive advertising practices.
This may no longer be the case, given that many ads now flow through users’ timelines without advertising labels attached.
Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a digital rights, consumer protection and privacy organization, said, “The FTC should begin investigating X’s use of hidden ads, specifically reviewing whether it amounts to deceptive business tactics.” is included.” in Washington, DC, when contacted for comment on the matter. He added, “X should be required to set aside any data it or its advertising partners collect from its users, in addition to imposing fines and other sanctions.”
“Doesn’t Elon Musk know that X can never really be effectively ad-supported, given the kind of atmosphere he has fostered on Twitter? Attempting to disguise ads as content smacks of financial desperation – not the best way to convey a ‘brand safe’ site to advertisers!” Chester added.
“User control over their social media experience should include clear labeling of ads they don’t want versus content they did seek,” said Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney at digital privacy nonprofit EFF. ” “If a platform is failing to label ads, it should fix the problem.”
We’ve reached the point where blue check posts that are not labeled as ads *for accounts I don’t follow* are showing up in my “Following” tab. pic.twitter.com/hepj5mx3LV
-Warren J. Wells, AICP 🚴🏙️🦀 (@WarrenJWells) 6 September 2023
In addition to potentially drawing the attention of the FTC or any other regulatory investigation beyond the US, the ad labeling flub is also a major stain on the resume of X’s newly appointed CEO Linda Yaccarino, who joined the company in June from NBCUniversal where she Were. Chairman of its advertising and partnerships group. His appointment was intended to signal to advertisers that a responsible adult who understands business has been put in charge of the revenue-generating side of the Elon Musk-owned company.
Since Yaccarino’s appointment, However, more recently, Elon Musk began blaming the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s anti-Semitism allegations for X’s declining US advertising revenues and threatened to file a lawsuit against the organization.
X no longer has a communications department that responds to press inquiries.
Nevertheless, we contacted X for comment and received an automated email response that read: “Busy right now, please check back later.” Previously, the company used to respond to inquiries using the poop emoji.