News organizations pull some Facebook ads after new labeling policies

The Financial Times and New York Media, owner of New York magazine, have pulled certain ads from Facebook after the s...

Posted: May 25, 2018 8:40 PM
Updated: May 25, 2018 8:40 PM

The Financial Times and New York Media, owner of New York magazine, have pulled certain ads from Facebook after the social media giant rolled out new policies for labeling ads about issues deemed political.

This week, Facebook instituted new requirements for advertisements on its platform. Ads that mention a political candidate or are about issues including guns, civil rights, and patriotism will be subject to the new rules. Those ad will now include a label saying what organization paid for it. All political ads will be placed in a searchable archive for up to seven years.

"We strongly believe to conflate news with advocacy is a very dangerous direction to take," said Jon Slade, the FT's chief commercial officer. "There's also a lack of clarity around the liability."

Facebook's rules come after last year's report from the US intelligence community that said Russia used social media to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election and seven years after Facebook and Google sought exemptions from federal regulators on political ad disclaimers.

In an attempt to prevent foreigners from buying political ads targeted at Americans, Facebook will require advertisers to register by providing a picture of their government-issued ID, the last four digits of their Social Security number, and a US mailing address.

"For the time being, New York Media is pausing its paid marketing on Facebook for content and brand promotion unless we're certain that it can't be construed as political, and thus subject to Facebook's ad archive disclosure requirements as we understand them," said New York magazine spokesperson Lauren Starke. "We object to any grouping of quality news publishers with political advocacy organizations and propagandists, and believe it would impede our ability to serve our journalistic mission. We hope that Facebook will find an appropriate solution for quality news publishers."

News outlets say by being lumped in with political campaigns for ads promoting their stories about say, gun control, Facebook will make it seem as though news organizations are politically motivated, instead of just reporting the news.

Digiday was to first report that FT and New York Media were pulling their ads.

David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, a trade group representing more than 2,000 news organizations in the US, said the new policy is making publishers "very anxious." Chavern said he wasn't aware of any publishers beyond the FT and New York pulling ads, and that many are waiting to see whether and how Facebook changes the policy.

"The concern we have with placing legitimate news publishers in the ad archive of political content is not a marketing or business issue. We see this as another step toward furthering a false and dangerous narrative that attempts to blur the lines between real reporting and propaganda," Chavern wrote in a in a proposal to Facebook about adjusting the policy. "Marketing our products, or subscriptions to our products, is not separate from our journalism. Our marketing must reflect our journalism and tell the story of what it takes to produce credible, source-reported, quality news. We cannot and will not engage in any process that possibly or clearly conflates legitimate news-gathering with politics or advocacy."

The News Media Alliance has suggested Facebook institute a different system for qualified news organizations by exempting any publisher on a so-called "white list" from being included in any political or issues archive.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, Steve Satterfield, a director on Facebook's policy team, said they are in "ongoing dialogues" with news organizations regarding the policy.

"We think it's important that any ad that mentions a candidate for example include this transparency and be accessible via the archive. We have heard feedback, particularly since we announced the expansion of our policy in April from various groups who were concerned about being required to be labeled and maintained in the archive," he said. "We'll have more to say about that in the future. We appreciate the feedback and we are taking it into account as we move forward."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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