Facebook Promises To Begin Blocking State-Controlled Media Outlets

Facebook announced this week that, beginning later this summer, it will no longer allow state-controlled media outlets to run ads on its platform. The move, which will affect publishers in Russia, China, Iran, and more, is intended to prevent hostile foreign actors from interfering in the 2020 U.S. election.

Until this ban comes into effect, Facebook also said that it will begin labeling posts from these organizations in an effort to better educate U.S. users about the sources of their information.

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 head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in a blog post.

Of course, this policy is not without controversy. Several foreign media organizations have already blasted Facebook for engaging in alleged censorship.

A U.S. company long in bed with the U.S. establishment, telling the entire rest of the world what it can and cannot say, is the definition of a technological dictatorship and censorship,” a spokeswoman for Russia Today told CNBC.

While Facebook will certainly face blowback abroad, this policy is almost certainly the right thing to do. The more steps the company takes to limit the spread of spam and misinformation, the better.

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