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Meta, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok have all issued orders from the FTC to provide information on misleading ads


The US 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 screen for misleading ads.

Snap, Twitch, Pinterest and Instagram are the other companies that all have to provide information like ad revenue and views including those in categories of products and services that are most vulnerable to scams.

The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The regulator seeks to screen and restrict paid commercial advertisements that are deceptive or that expose consumers to fraudulent healthcare products, financial fraud, counterfeit or counterfeit goods, or any other fraud.

“Social media has been a goldmine for scammers promoting bogus products and other frauds that have cost consumers significantly in recent years,” said Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Consumer Protection.

“This study will help the FTC ensure that social media and video broadcasting companies do everything they can to keep scammers and misleading ads off their platforms.”

The request comes after the FTC asked Twitter to turn over 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 withdraw an antitrust complaint challenging Meta Platforms’ purchase of virtual reality startup Inside Unlimited, officially closing the agency’s case.

The Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal last year, filing a dual complaint in federal court and its own internal court. After a trial in December in federal court in San Jose, US District Judge Edward Davila found in favor of Meta, ruling the FTC did not provide enough evidence to show that the acquisition would harm competition in the emerging virtual reality industry.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.