Updated: June 5, 2020 11:54:03 am
Facebook announced Thursday it will start labelling pages and posts from state-controlled media. These labels will start appearing on the Facebook pages of Russia Today and China’s Xinhua, warning users that these are state-controlled outlets.
“We’re providing greater transparency into these publishers because they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state,” Nathan Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, wrote in blog post on Thursday. “We believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government.”
The idea behind labelling the pages, posts and advertisements of state-controlled media outlets is to inform users as to who owns and runs these outlets. Facebook in October said it would roll out these labels to provide users with greater transparency.
Facebook will start applying the labels to posts on its News Feed over the next week.Facebook also plans to block state-controlled media outlets to run ads on its social networking platform. The decision is part of its long-term efforts to prevent interference of Russia and China in the 2020 US election. Facebook generated close to $70 billion in ad revenue in 2019.
In recent days, Facebook had to face backlash after many media outlets from Russia, China and Iran ran articles and videos of the US protests to their followers on Facebook. This hasn’t gone well with many senior US and European officials who suspected that these government-owned outlets are tarnishing the image of the western countries.
The Mark Zuckerburg-owned Facebook was also in the news recently over how the social networking giant handled recent posts of Donald Trump. Facebook’s own employees voiced their disagreement with Zuckerberg after the company refused to moderate a post from President Trump.
Trump, in a May 29 post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, wrote that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to the civil unrest in Minneapolis, which erupted after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black, was killed in police custody. The phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” has a history that goes back in 1967. It was used by former Miami police chief Walter Headley, whose harsh words instigated riots in black neighbourhoods in1968.
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