Business: FB to demote Russian state media across its entire platform

San Francisco, March 2 (IANS) Meta-owned Facebook, which has already blocked access to RT and Sputnik within the European Union and Ukraine, now said it will demote all Russian state media across Facebook and Instagram around the world.

According to Engadget, Meta’s president of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said the company was making Russian state media “harder to find” on Facebook and Instagram.

“We are demoting content from Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts for Russian state-controlled media outlets,” Clegg was quoted as saying during a call with reporters.

“We have also begun to demote posts that contain links to Russian state-controlled media websites on Facebook over the past few days,” Clegg added.

On the call, Clegg called the move “unprecedented,” and noted that Meta has received requests from a number of governments to suppress Russian state media.

So far, the company has only blocked the pages entirely in the European Union — following a ban from lawmakers — and inside of Ukraine.

In addition to demoting content, Clegg said Facebook will also add labels to all links to Russian state media websites that are shared on its platforms to “provide more information to people before they share them or to let them know that they lead to state-controlled media websites”.

Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts controlled by state media will also have labels, the report said.

The labels, which are expected to roll out in the coming days, will appear on any link to Russian state media and will warn that Facebook believes the publisher is “partially or wholly under the editorial control of the Russian government”.

Facebook’s head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher added that the company will be on the lookout for new websites or links created to evade the policy.

Facebook’s latest update comes after several days of crackdowns on Russian state media from major tech companies.

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