SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Places State Media Labels On Russian, Chinese Outlets

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Facebook Inc. will start labeling Russian, Chinese and other state-controlled media organizations, and later this summer will block any ads from such outlets that target U.S. users, it said on Thursday.

The world’s biggest social network will apply the label to Russia’s Sputnik, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua News, according to a partial list Facebook provided. The company will apply the label to about 200 pages at the outset.

Facebook will not label any U.S.-based news organizations, as it determined that even U.S. government-run outlets have editorial independence, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said in an interview.

Facebook, which has acknowledged its failure to stop Russian use of its platforms to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, has since stepped up its defense and imposed greater transparency requirements for pages and ads on its platforms.

The company announced plans last year to create a state media label, but is introducing the tool amid  a deep crisis over its hands-off treatment of misleading and racially charged posts by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The new measures comes just month ahead of the November U.S. presidential election.

Under the measure, Facebook will not use the label for media outlets affiliated with individual political figures or parties, which Gleicher said could push ‘boundaries that are very, very slippery’.

‘What we want to do here is start with the most critical case’, he said.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, in 2018 started identifying video channels that predominately carry news items and are funded by governments. Bur critics charge YouTube has failed to label some state news outlets, allowing them to earn ad revenue from videos with misinformation and propaganda.

In a blog post, Facebook said its label will appear on pages globally, as well as on News Feed posts within the United States.

Facebook also said it will ban U.S.-targeted ads from state-controlled entities ‘out of an abundance of caution’, ahead of the November presidential election. Elsewhere, the ads will receive a label.


SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Takes Down Accounts And Pages Of Trump Ally Roger Stone

MILAN – Facebook Inc on Wednesday removed 50 personal and professional pages connected to U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone, who is due to report to prison next week. The social media platform said Stone and his associates, including a prominent supporter of the right-wing Proud Boys group in Stone’s home state Florida, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Takes Down Accounts And Pages Of Trump Ally Roger Stone

SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Suspends Disinformation Network Tied To Staff Of Brazil’s Bolsonaro

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Facebook Inc on Wednesday suspended a network of social media accounts it said were used to spread divisive political messages online by employees of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and two of  his sons. The company said that despite efforts to disguise who was behind the activity, it found links to staff … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Suspends Disinformation Network Tied To Staff Of Brazil’s Bolsonaro

BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Completes First Phase Of State Mills Privatisation

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had complete the first batch of its flour milling sector privatization, according to a statement by the state grain buyer and privatization centre. The long-awaited flour mills sale was one of the first privatisations the kingdom planned as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Completes First Phase Of State Mills Privatisation

BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Nominates Candidate To Bead WTO: Document

GENEVA – Saudi Arabia nominated a former economy and planning minister to head the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, a WTO document showed, amid a last –minute flurry of submission to succeed the incumbent Roberto Azevedo who is stepping down in August. ‘The following communication, nominating Mr. Mohammad Mazid Al-Tuwaijri for the position of Director-General, … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Nominates Candidate To Bead WTO: Document

HEALTH | WHO To Travelers – Keep An Eye On ‘Anywhere And Everywhere’ COVID-19

Geneva – The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged travelers to wear masks on planes and keep themselves informed as COVID-19 cases surge again in some countries, prompting new restrictions in places like Australia. Spokeswoman Margaret Harris urged people not to be cough off-guard by resurgent local epidemics and quarantine measures, saying: ‘If it’s anywhere, … Continue reading HEALTH | WHO To Travelers – Keep An Eye On ‘Anywhere And Everywhere’ COVID-19

BUSINESS NEWS | Kanye West’s Clothing Brand Hollywood Production Companies On Pandemic Loan List

LOS ANGELES – Ventures backed by big-name entertainers Kanye West and Francis Ford Coppola were among those approved for loans under a U.S. government program to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a list released on Monday. Billionaire rapper West’s clothing brand Yeezy received clearance for a loan between $2 million and $5 … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Kanye West’s Clothing Brand Hollywood Production Companies On Pandemic Loan List

BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Unemployment Falls In First Quarter, But Before Coronavirus Impact

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Unemployment among citizens in the first quarter fell below 12% for the first time in four years, official figures released on Tuesday showed, but they did not capture the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Unemployment fell to 11.8%  from 12% the previous quarter, the General Authority for Statistics said. ‘Data … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Unemployment Falls In First Quarter, But Before Coronavirus Impact

SOCIAL MEDIA | Pompeo Says U.S. Looking At Banning Chinese Social Media Apps, Including TikTok

NEW YORK – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States is ‘certainly looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, suggesting it shared information with the Chinese government, a charge it denied. ‘I don’t want to get out in front of President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Pompeo Says U.S. Looking At Banning Chinese Social Media Apps, Including TikTok

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