Facebook took steps Thursday to reduce the role of state-backed media outlets from Russia and China on its global platform amid controversy over how the social networking giant handled recent posts from Donald Trump.
The company has faced a backlash from its employees for not adding warning labels to comments from the U.S. president linked to the ongoing violence across the country.
The tech giant said that it would now add labels to the Facebook pages of Russia Today, Sputnik, Xinhua News and the People’s Daily, among others, warning people that these were state-controlled outlets. Other government-funded publishers that are run independently, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, would not be included in the labeling, according to the company.
See Also: Official Facebook Announcement: “Labeling State-Controlled Media On Facebook”
The labels will appear globally in the Ad Library Page view, on Pages, and in the Page Transparency section. In the US, the label will also start to appear on posts in News Feed over the course of the next week.
Later this summer, we’ll apply the label to ads from state-controlled media outlets, starting with a few outlets and adding more over time.
To inform our policy criteria, we consulted more than 65 experts around the world specializing in media, governance, and human rights and development. The input we received from these organizations was crucial to understanding the different ways and degrees to which governments exert editorial control over media entities. We know that governments continue to use funding mechanisms to control media, but this alone doesn’t tell the full story. That’s why our definition of state-controlled media extends beyond just assessing financial control or ownership and includes an assessment of editorial control exerted by a government.
Based on these consultations and research, we developed our own policy criteria to determine whether a publisher is wholly or partially under the editorial control of a government.
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