The social networking site Facebook has banned Chinese and Russian state-run media outlets from targeting US users.
Russia and China, along with other government-controlled media outlets, have announced that they will begin “naming government” on Facebook platforms and will ban US-targeted advertising on such media outlets from next summer.
Facebook’s official media outlets include Russia’s Sputnik, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua. Two hundred other similar government media websites will be labeled as government.
However, Facebook will not immediately “label” any US news organization. Facebook claims that even the media run by the US government has editorial freedom.
In the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook was criticized by Russians for abusing Facebook and influencing the election results. Facebook has already admitted its weakness in the incident. Learning from the same incident, Facebook is taking strong steps to prevent the misuse of Facebook by countries including China and the United States to influence the upcoming US presidential election. Facebook has adopted a policy of strict transparency in pages and advertisements for publishing advertisements on its platform.
Remember that the US presidential election is taking place next November.
The listing of state-controlled media, including China and Russia, does not include media run by any leader or political party.
China, meanwhile, has criticized Facebook’s move. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference on Friday that social media companies should not create certain media barriers.
Russian media outlet Sputnik has issued a statement calling on governments around the world to take control of Facebook, a US-led operation to curb freedom of speech.
However, Facebook is not alone in treating state-controlled media differently. In 2018, YouTube began identifying government-invested YouTube channels. However, critics say YouTube has failed to identify some government-controlled YouTube channels that contain false propaganda news and information videos.
With Facebook’s decision to label government-controlled media, there will now be signs of government control on the pages of such media and news feed posts.