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Facebook to ban state-controlled media from running ads on its network

June 4 (UPI) -- Facebook said Thursday that starting this summer it will no longer allow state-controlled media to run ads on its network out of 'an abundance of caution' against 2020 election interference.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, addressed the issue in a statement.

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"State-controlled media outlets rarely advertise in the United States," Gleicher said in the statement. "Nevertheless, later this summer we will begin blocking ads from these outlets in the United States out of an abundance of caution to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of of the November 2020 election."

Gleicher added that Facebook would also start to apply labels to state-controlled media outlets.

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Russia Today, Sputnik, CCTV and Xinhua News are among the outlets that will receive the labels.

The social media company announced the plan to label state-controlled media on their Page and in their Ad Library to increase transparency several months ago.

"We're providing greater transparency into these publishers because they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state, and we believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government," Gleicher said.

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Last month, Facebook, Twitter and Google testified before congressional lawmakers on election security amid concern they failed to stop Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

More recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came under fire for not taking down President Donald Trump's posts believed to incite violence amid protests against police brutality.

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