Facebook labels ads and news on the platform coming from publications that may be under the influence of a government.
The new Facebook labels will affect ads
The new elements are… labels. They will appear globally in the Ad Library Page view, on Pages, and in the Page Transparency section. As the presidential elections in the United States will take place this year, here the tags will also be present on posts in News Feed, starting this week.
But Facebook will also apply labels on the paid content. “To ensure we’re equally transparent when it comes to paid content from these publishers, we will begin to label ads from this publishers later this year”, Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy mentioned.
Still, the company explained that “later this summer, we’ll apply the label to ads from state controlled media outlets.” But it continued mentioning that it will start “with a few outlets and adding more over time”. So, there is no clear timeline.
The new policy comes just weeks after the company announced Facebook Shops, which might bring even more ads on the platform.
How will Facebook make decisions?
Nathaniel Gleicher mentioned that Facebook consulted more than 65 experts around the world, in order to build the policy. Then, it came with its own criteria.
These are the most important things Facebook will consider before applying the label: mission statement, ownership structure.
Also, it will look attentively at the editorial guidelines, information about newsroom leadership and staff and sources of funding and revenue.
Of course, publishers will have the chance to prove their independence. For this, they will have to demonstrate a few things.
Firstly, a statute of the host country which protects the editorial independence of the organization. Secondly, the established procedures to ensure editorial independence. And thirdly, an assessment by an independent external organization.
Thus, it should guarantee that the organization is compliant with the statute and followed established procedures.
In order to be fair, Facebook labels will adapt to the country-specific factors, including press freedom.