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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: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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