Facebook Will Not Run Ads From State-Controlled Media In US

In an attempt to prevent foreign meddling in the 2020 U.S. elections, Facebook Inc. FB will block advertisements from state media outlets, beginning this summer.

What Happened

In a blog post made Thursday, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher wrote, “Later this summer we will begin blocking ads 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.”

Gleicher also revealed that the social media giant plans to label media outlets “that are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government.” 

In the United States, labeling will begin appearing on the News Feed on Facebook over the course of the next week. Later in the summer, labeling will be applied to various sections on the social network on a worldwide basis.

Why It Matters

State media outlets expected to be affected by labeling are Russia Today, Sputnik, China’s CCTV, and Xinhua News. 

A Russia Today spokesperson told CNBC that Facebook was “telling the entire rest of the world what it can and cannot say, is the definition of a technological dictatorship and censorship.”

Facebook generated $70 billion in ad revenue in 2019, but it rarely carries advertisements from foreign state media in the U.S.

The decision to block foreign government ads comes after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to moderate President Donald Trump’s controversial posts on countrywide raging protests against the killing of George Floyd.

Last month, Zuckerberg equated combating electoral interference with an “Arms Race” and claimed the company was now better prepared than even governments in tackling such meddling. 

FB Price Action

On Thursday, Facebook shares closed 1.68% lower at $226.29.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsTechMediaGeneralCCTVCNBCDonald TrumpelectionsMark ZuckerbergRussia Today
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