The stickers will immediately start appearing on sites belonging to outlets such as state-owned Russia Russia Today and China’s Xinhua. Starting next week, users in the United States will begin to see labels appear on individual posts at these outlets, which will be introduced in other countries over time.
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Facebook, told CNN Business in an interview Thursday that the company uses such an approach to let users know more about where their information is coming from.
“We care about the state media combining an agenda that sets the power of the media entity and the strategic support of the state,” Gleicher said. “If you’re reading the coverage of the protests, it’s really important to know who’s writing about it and what their motivation is. The goal is to make sure the public sees and understands who’s behind it.”
Later this summer, Facebook will disable state-controlled media outlets by displaying ads in the United States, “out of abundance of caution” ahead of the U.S. election in November, Gleicher said.
Gleicher said they have no plans to publish ad bans elsewhere because state media is the only form of local news in some regions of the world.
Gleicher said Facebook consulted with 65 experts to create its own criteria for defining media that should be labeled as state-controlled media. These criteria include where the output funding comes from, editorial transparency, ownership structure and management, internal accountability mechanisms, and confirmation of third party independence. The entity can be funded from the state, but is considered independent. Although the initial list of outlets including Chinese CCTV and Xinhua, Russia Today and Sputnik will immediately get the label, Gleicher warned that the list is “dynamic” and will change over time. Entities can also appeal their label.