A Small Chaos Over Facebook’s New Rules

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Facebook’s decision to require news organizations to follow its new advertising disclosure policy has introduced some protests from several news media groups and associations. A letter crafted by seven media groups also takes part in this protest, demanding that ads purchased by news agencies should not be subject to the disclosure requirements. The letter says, “This isn’t an advertising or enterprise concern.”

The media groups demand that Facebook instantly end making use of its new “political promoting” guidelines. “We see your coverage as one other step towards furthering a false and harmful narrative that blurs the traces between actual reporting from the skilled media and propaganda.”

The letter was signed by the American Society of News Editors, the European Publishers Council, the News Media Alliance and the Society of Professional Journalists.This just shows the huge amount of support that these media associations are getting in this protest against the giant multinational Facebook’s new advertisement guidelines. Some publishing houses, such as the Financial Times and New York Media, have taken their advertisements back from Facebook due to the new rules.

Facebook, on the other hand, said that they are trying to step up their efforts to fight phony news and political misinformation, with the new rules and controls which are intended to ensure legitimacy and transparency amongst the advertisers and publishers on the website

CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post: These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system. But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads.”

He also said that his company completely supports the Honest Ads Act (which is a United States Senate bill). “Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform… This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online.” Alright, so the media houses object to the registration requirement because it equates them with political advocates, but the new rules also allow Facebook to track and delete any fake pages or news spread over the network.

The move could have an effect on activism as it takes away a user’s anonymity. Online anonymity helped Russian trolls to run fake Facebook pages for corrupt purposes. On the other hand, anonymity is very beneficial to the society; it gives people the opportunity to speak up.

So, what do you think? Is Facebook doing the right thing by imposing these new rules over everybody? Or is this a mistake?

P.S. – Keep in mind how Russians used anonymity to influence hundreds of voters in 2016.


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Hersh Singh (SD College 32)

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