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Facebook will now label state-controlled media posts and block their ads in the US

The feature was first announced last year and will begin rolling out in the weeks ahead.

Facebook state-controlled media
Image: Facebook

Facebook has been in the news a lot recently for its recent stance on fact-checking Donald Trump, but now the company is coming out to state its stance on another issue found on social media – state-controlled media and ads.

First announced late last year, Facebook has been looking at how to address state-controlled media (examples include China’s People’s Daily and Russia’s Sputnik). Now, in an effort to make US users aware that the content they are consuming could be from outlets that are “wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government,” the feature is finally rolling out.

Facebook will accomplish this by adding labels to such outlets and posts that alert users to the fact, as well as give them a link to learn more about the outlet. The company does note that these types of posts are rarely served to US users, but it’s still a nice addition to the platform.

In the blog post announcing the new feature, the company states that they have consulted over 65 experts on the subject, going on to detail what it means by “state-controlled media.”

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.

In addition to these new labels, the company has also announced that it will block US ads from such outlets in an effort to fight disinformation campaigns as the country gears up for the 2020 election cycle.

Currently, you can only find the labels in “the Ad Library Page view, on Pages, and in the Page Transparency section,” but in the US, the label will begin to appear on the News Feed in the upcoming week.

What do you think? Glad to see Facebook taking this step? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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