Posters will immediately start appearing on pages of outlets like Russia Today and Country Administration China. Starting next week, users in the U.S. will start seeing the ranking appear on the individual posts of these outlets – ratings that will eventually be introduced in other countries.
Nathaniel Glicher, head of security policy at Facebook, told CNN Business in an interview on Thursday that the company was taking such an approach so users would know more about the source of their information.
“The concern for us is that government media combines the agenda of setting the authority of a media entity and strategic support for the state,” said Glischer. “If you are reading coverage of a protest, it is really important to know who is writing this coverage and what motivated them. The goal is to ensure that the public is seen and understood who is behind it.”
Glischer said later this summer, Facebook will also prevent state-controlled media from displaying ads in the United States, “because of an abundance of caution” before the US elections in November.
Gillischer said there are no plans to publicize the ban on ads elsewhere because government media are the only form of local news in some regions of the world.
Glischer said that Facebook consulted 65 experts to set its own standards for identifying ports that are described as state-controlled media. These standards include the source of financing the outlet, editorial transparency, ownership and governance structure, internal accountability mechanisms and third party assurance of independence. The entity can be state funded, but it is considered independent. Although the initial list of outlets including Chinese CCTV, Xinhua, Russia, Today and Sputnik will get the label immediately, Glicher warned that the list is “dynamic” and will change over time. Entities can also resume their classification.