Social Media

Facebook to add labels to identify state-controlled media

Facebook - Appy Pie

Facebook has announced that it will be adding labels that will be used to identify state-controlled media. As per this move, Facebook will soon add labels to news outlets owned or controlled by a government. It marks that information will be marked unreliable. this feature will further strengthen Facebook as an “anti-false news platform”.

Facebook will also begin barring state-controlled outlets from buying advertising in the US later this summer.  Facebook will add similar labels to ads by such news outlets, blocking them entirely ahead of the US polls in November to protect any foreign influence in the public debate.

This policy will be rolled out to all users next week. The company announced its plan as one part of its ongoing election integrity efforts banning anti-voting ads and amid debate over how social network handles misinformation including content from US President Donald Trump.

Under the new policy, Facebook will label content produced by media outlets endorsing a policy the social media giant first announced in October 2019. News organizations under the influence of a government will have a subtle but clear label as to their positions.

The company’s announcement came through a blog post which was written by Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook. He said, “We want to help people better understand who’s behind the news they see on Facebook, today we’re starting to apply labels to those state-controlled media outlets.”

He added in the blog post, “We are 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.”

In his blog post, Gleicher further remarked that the company has a belief that people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that could be under the influence of a government.

Facebook is also in the process of setting up a board to make collective determinations on content removal.

The label will not be applied to news posts or organizations that base their reporting only on state-controlled media. Nor will their information be published by these label organizations for special investigation or fact-checking.

Over not adding a label Gleicher said, “If we determine that there are protections in place to ensure editorial independence, we will not apply the label.”

In January this year, Facebook had announced a feature on its platform that helped to reduce the level of precision with which advertisers can target users. This feature also put the responsibility on the users to inform the company if they did not want to see political ads. Recently, Facebook was under flak over not taking an action against posts by President Trump that spread false information about voting by mail.


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