Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media outlets in US

Facebook will start showing new labels for posts from state-controlled media outlets in the US.

| Updated on: Jun 05 2020, 09:41 IST
Facebook begins labeling state-controlled media
Facebook begins labeling state-controlled media (REUTERS)
Facebook begins labeling state-controlled media
Facebook begins labeling state-controlled media (REUTERS)

Facebook on Friday said it will start blocking advertisements posted by state-controlled media. The company will also show labels with such posts to bring more transparency. The move comes as part of Facebook's efforts to keep the platform from getting manipulated during the 2020 election in the US.

Facebook says new labels will appear to users around the world in sections such as the Ad Library Page view, Pages, and Page Transparency section. The company will start showing these labels including the ones for News Feed posts in the US over the next week.

Facebook further explains that it has consulted more than 65 experts around the world. The company also laid out the factors that may indicate it is a state-controlled media. These factors are

Mission statement, mandate, and/or public reporting on how the organization defines and accomplishes its journalistic mission

Ownership structure such as information on owners, stakeholders, board members, management, government appointees in leadership positions, and disclosure of direct or indirect ownership by entities or individuals holding elected office

Editorial guidelines such as transparency around sources of content and independence and diversity of sources

Information about newsroom leadership and staff

Sources of funding and revenue

Governance and accountability mechanisms such as correctional policies, procedure for complaints, external assessments and oversight boards

Twitter had made a similar move in August last year when it imposed a ban on state-controlled accounts to buy advertisements. The company had revealed over 900 Twitter accounts on its platform originated from China and were used to undermine the protests in Hong Kong, reported Axios.

The social networking companies had received wide criticism over the misuse of their platforms during the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook had acknowledged that some 10 million users in the US saw such political ads purchased in Russia in the months before and after the election. Facebook had then promised to bring more transparency to these political posts.

Interestingly, Facebook's new announcement comes at a time when its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a backlash from the company employees and others over the inaction on US Donald Trump's posts.

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First Published Date: 05 Jun, 09:41 IST
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