The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday issued orders to eight social media and video streaming companies, including Meta platforms, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, for information about how the platforms post misleading content search advertising.
Snap, Amazon.com-owned Twitch, Pinterest, and Instagram are the other companies that must all provide information such as ad revenue and number of views, including those in categories of products and services that are more prone to deception.
The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
The regulator seeks to review and restrict paid commercial advertising that is misleading or exposes consumers to fraudulent healthcare products, financial fraud, counterfeit and counterfeit goods, or other fraud.
“Social media is a goldmine for scammers promoting bogus products and other scams that have cost consumers enormously in recent years,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau.
“This study will help the FTC ensure that social media and video streaming companies are doing everything they can to keep scammers and deceptive advertising off their platforms.”
The order comes after the FTC asked Twitter to release some internal communications related to owner Elon Musk and other detailed information about business decisions as part of an investigation earlier this month.
Last month, the FTC voted to drop an antitrust complaint against Meta Platforms’ purchase of virtual reality startup Within Unlimited, officially closing the agency’s case.
The FTC sued last year to block the deal, filing dual complaints in federal court and its internal court. After a December trial in federal court in San Jose, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ruled in favor of Meta, saying the FTC’s ruling did not provide sufficient evidence that the acquisition would harm competition in the burgeoning virtual reality industry.
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