FACEBOOK ADDS LABELS, That Identify State-Run Media!


Facebook adds labels

A new development is taking effect as Facebook adds labels to news outlets controlled or owned by the government, which will see their information as, unreliable or not necessarily false, aimed at figuring out its origin. However, if these media outlets are identified and labeled they will be banned from buying adverts beginning from this summer.  

Although, Facebook had announced plans of effecting this label couple of months ago as part of measures put in place for its ongoing “election integrity efforts” which will require the confirmation of pages by their owners and as well, ban anti-voting adverts.

The new policy which should roll out this week will see news organizations “that may be under the influence of any government” have a clear and subtle label that will not exclude their posts. However, when the media body is owned and controlled by a state, you’re expected to see a warning that reads, “This publisher is wholly or partially under the editorial control of a state. This is determined by a range of factors, including but not limited to funding, structure, and journalistic standards”, that was pulled on the image below.

To ascertain the extent of how these media organizations could reach out beyond the countries of their primary location, a project aimed to track such engagement and engineered by Oxford has it that: It’s Computational Propaganda Project has tracked this engagement and the strategies deployed by these media bodies to accomplish it closely in an ongoing number of papers. With Facebook adding labels to its platform, it won’t be easy as it sounds.

The process of identifying news organizations run by a state isn’t as straight forward as it appears. This is based on the fact that there are good numbers of openly state-run news in many countries, on one part, the government could be responsible for its funding or defunding as the case may be, or either direct editorial coverage or operate the whole news process through an unacknowledged medium.

Prior to the company’s decision to implement this process, it was figured out it had contacted experts to analyze and classify the news organizations on its platform, that seems to have advised that it should consider many factors. In view of this, Facebook will base its state-controlled label on the basis of official statements, ownership and stakeholders, editorial leadership and guidelines, policies and oversight, and not excluding the state of media freedom in the host country. Should a media body feel it was labeled in error! It can appeal the label.

You may ask if news posters would be affected by this label, the answer is no. Nor organizations that merely reference or base their reporting on state-controlled media. Notwithstanding, Facebook’s cybersecurity policy head ‘Nathaniel Gleicher’ spelled it in a blog post, “later this summer we will begin blocking adverts from these outlets in the US out of an abundance of caution to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of the November 2020 election in the US”.

Also, read about Twitter’s labels

What is your take on Facebook adding labels coupled with racial concern?