Facebook will begin labeling pages, posts, and ads, from state-controlled media outlets that are “partially or wholly under the editorial control of a state.”
Facebook is facing growing pressure for more transparency on its platform. A few days after staff walked out during a company virtual meeting to protest against Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to filter out President Trump’s posts, the Facebook has announced it will begin to label content that comes from state-controlled media.
RT and Sputnik will be among those news outlets that will be labeled, along with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV and the Xinhua news agency.
“We’re providing greater transparency into these publishers because they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state, and we believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook explained.
Facebook also announced it will start to block ads that come from state-controlled media outlets in the US. The move comes three years after Twitter banned ads from Russian-backed outlets RT and Sputnik.
Gleicher also explained how Facebook will factor in both financial and editorial control of a news outlet, as well as “country-specific factors,” such as the level of press freedom.
This suggests Facebook has heard the complaints from some organizations, like Al Jazeera, that protested the potential application of the label. Al Jazeera is backed by the government of Qatar but maintains it has editorial independence.