Facebook will now label state-controlled media outlets and block their ads

A few months ago, Facebook announced a series of measures it would introduce to prevent meddling with the upcoming presidential elections in the United States. Among those measures, it was said that news outlets funded by governments would be clearly labeled as such.

Today, the social network announced that it's beginning to apply these labels to media outlets that are "wholly or partially" under the control of their respective government. The labels will be shown in a number of places, including the Ad Library Page, on pages themselves, and in the Page Transparency section. For the United States specifically, Facebook says it's also making these labels visible in individual posts that show up on a user's News Feed. Later in the summer, the labels will also start appearing in ads bought by these outlets.

Facebook also says that, while state-controlled media "rarely" advertises in the United States, it will begin blocking ads from these outlets. The timeline for this is also "later this summer", which isn't all that concrete, but presumably this will be a temporary measure to protect this year's election, with the aforementioned labels being used otherwise.

In order to apply these labels, Facebook says it consulted with more than 65 experts worldwide to establish a set of criteria to help determine whether a specific outlet is controlled by a government. These include, of course, looking at its funding and revenue sources, ownership structure, and things like the outlets' mission statement and editorial guidelines. If an outlet has protections in place to remain editorially independent, it won't be labeled as state-controlled, but proof of that independence is required. Factors such as press freedom in specific countries are also taken into account.

As mentioned above, these labels are rolling out now, but they will start to appear in more places over time as we approach the U.S. presidential election.

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