Check My Ads, a group that works to demonetize conservatives, is pushing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and fine billionaire Elon Musk’s X — formerly Twitter — for its alleged “deceptive advertising,” according to a complaint filed Wednesday.
Check My Ads alleges that X lacks sufficient transparency regarding what content on the platform is paid advertising, arguing these practices endanger users and demanding an investigation into X, according to the complaint with the FTC. While Check My Ads claims its “current mission” is to “dismantle the disinformation economy,” its focus has predominantly been on targeting conservatives.
X’s handling of advertising is likely illegal. Here’s more about it, and why we filed and inquiry with the Federal Trade Commission. @sarahkwiley, our Director of Partnerships and Policy, led this project. https://t.co/SIcXETRhih
— Claire Atkin (@catthekin) November 15, 2023
Check My Ads pressures advertisers to leave right-leaning media such as Fox News in order to “defund hate speech and disinformation,” according to its website. The organization strives to stop the spread of what it considers misleading or hateful content by urging advertisers and ad exchanges to cut business ties with certain news and commentary sites that are almost invariably conservative.
For instance, it took credit for helping to boot conservative talk show host Dan Bongino’s website, Bongino.com, off Google’s ad service. The group has also targeted Human Events, The Post Millennial and Charlie Kirk.
Despite the organization’s mission to combat disinformation, Check My Ads has ties to individuals and organizations who have themselves been active in disinformation campaigns, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
Check My Ads is now pushing for the FTC to fine X for violations of a 2022 administrative order related to privacy and deceptive advertising, as well as force the company to give up all of its “ill-gotten gains from misrepresentations made to users.”
The FTC has issued more than 350 information requests from X since Musk took over, including the social media platform’s work with journalists to release the “Twitter Files,” internal documents exposing censorship before his takeover, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asserted in July.
“X Corp.’s lack of disclosures to consumers, misrepresentations to advertisers, and flawed access to explanations about targeted advertising constitute unfair and deceptive practices,” Check My Ads Policy Director Sarah Kay Wiley stated. “We urge the Commission to determine the extent of these violations and address them to the full extent of its authority.”
Check My Ads in September urged advertisers to abandon Rumble, a competitor to YouTube; it dubs Rumble the “internet’s most toxic platform.”
Check My Ads, along with other left-wing groups, signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to demand that Congress craft legislation to censor “climate disinformation” produced by artificial intelligence (AI) in September. The groups pushed for stringent AI regulations, including evaluations on the technology’s impact on “climate disinformation.”
Check My Ads, the FTC and X did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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