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X might be displaying unlabeled ads in users' timeline

X, formerly Twitter, is reported to be showing some unlabeled ads on its users' timeline. It is not clear whether the issue is due to a bug or an intentional change.

Edited By: Om Gupta

Published: Sep 09, 2023, 11:34 AM IST


Story Highlights

  • X is failing to label some of its ads properly.
  • X users have noticed ads do not have the usual "Ad" label.
  • X is making ads indistinguishable from regular posts.

X, formerly known as Twitter, is facing criticism for failing to label some of its ads properly. According to TechCrunch, many users have noticed ads in their timelines that do not have the usual “Ad” label, making them indistinguishable from regular posts. The only way to tell that these posts are paid promotions is to click on the “…” menu in the tweet, which reveals that the tweet is sponsored content. This practice could violate the FTC’s guidelines on disclosing endorsements and testimonials, which require advertisers and endorsers to clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationship. 

The FTC has previously fined X for misleading consumers about paid tweets in 2011. X has also faced backlash from advertisers over its brand safety issues, which have led to a 60 percent drop in ad revenue, according to CEO Elon Musk. 

X did not respond to a request for comment from various media organisations, and it is unclear whether the unlabeled ads are intentional or accidental. However, some industry watchdogs, such as Check My Ads, a nonprofit group that monitors online advertising, have been collecting and reporting examples of stealth ads on their Twitter account. The group is urging X users to flag any unlabeled ads they encounter and report them to the FTC.

“We’ve gotten some great examples from you all of Twitter ads that aren’t marked as ads. Keep those screenshots coming to, along with how you’re using Twitter (iOS/Android app or web),” Check My Ads wrote in an X post. 

Meanwhile, X is getting a new feature that will enable users to make audio and video calls directly from its platform. The announcement was made by Elon Musk, who said that this feature will work on almost all platforms and that X will act as a global address book. The details of how this feature will work are not yet revealed. It is not clear if users will be able to call anyone on X or only those they have interacted with via DMs. Instagram has a similar feature that allows users to call up to eight people at a time, but only those they have accepted or sent messages to.


Author Name | Om Gupta


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