Facebook begins labeling posts from foreign state-controlled media


Facebook announced Thursday that it has started labelling posts from state-controlled media outlets.

The social media giant first announced it would begin the labelling the posts in October 2019.

The labels will first appear on the outlets’s page before being added to posts on the News Feed over the next week.

Advertisements from the outlets will also start being labeled later this summer.

“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’s head of cybersecurity, Nathan Gleicher, wrote in a blog post.

Facebook’s definition of state-controlled media was developed in collaboration with experts and organizations in the fields of media, governance, human rights and development. 

The company says it will make the determinations based on the funding and structure of media companies, as well as open-source reporting about them.

Outlets determined to be state-controlled will be able to appeal their status.

Among the outlets that will receive labels Thursday are Russia Today, Sputnik, Xinhua News and Philippine News Agency.

Notable among the outlets not to be labeled is Al Jazeera, which is privately owned but has a member of the Qatari royal family as the chair of its board.

The outlet protested the policy when is was first announced last year, saying a state-backed label would cause “irreparable harm” to its operation. 

Tags Al Jazeera Digital media Facebook Media transparency State media

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