One of the biggest controversies Facebook has ever dealt with is the role it played in Russian misinformation efforts before the 2016 presidential election. So it makes sense that the company would be sensitive to allegations that more Russian media outlets were abusing the platform. That’s why, when CNN was preparing a report earlier this month that Russian state media outlet RT was using another company to spread content, Facebook banned its pages. However, in a confusing turn of events, Facebook reversed its decision and reinstated the fishy pages earlier this week.
As usual, when it comes to Facebook’s content controversies, the company’s lack of transparency has only led to greater confusion and frustration — even for prominent U.S. lawmakers.
“At this point, Facebook should have established a clear policy when it comes to state-supported media,” Senator Mark Warner told CNN. “While I’m pleased Facebook made the RT-linked groups disclose the affiliation to RT in their ‘About’ section, this kind of disclosure should be clear and conspicuous.”
For its part, Facebook said that it’s beginning to push pages to become more transparent about who’s really behind them.
“We are… starting to ask Pages that exhibit potentially misleading behavior to disclose their affiliation with their parent company,” Facebook said in a statement.
This is minor as far as scandals go, but the sense of confusion around Facebook’s censorship decisions just goes to show how badly the company needs to clarify its rules.
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