Facebook has begun labeling content produced by media outlets it says are under state control, enacting a policy the social network first announced in October. Posts from at least 18 outlets including Russia Today, China’s People’s Daily and Iran’s Press TV now carry notices to users that they are “state-controlled media.” Ads from state-controlled publishers will also be labeled starting later this year. The labels will initially be shown to U.S. Facebook users and roll out to other countries over time.
In a blog post, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, wrote: “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.”
Facebook will also begin barring state-controlled outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. later this summer. Gleicher said that decision was to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Facebook’s decision to flag state-controlled media is part of the company’s broader effort to avoid a repeat of 2016, when the company failed to curb misinformation and foreign interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Editorial credit: AlexandraPopova / Shutterstock.com