Instagram starts labeling ‘state-controlled media’ accounts and posts

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Instagram has begun rolling out new “state-controlled media” labels—here are the ones for Kremlin outlets aimed at younger Americans: pic.twitter.com/vyUySA1zbW

— Casey Michel 🇰🇿 (@cjcmichel) October 5, 2020

“Instagram defines ‘state-controlled media’ as media outlets that Instagram believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government, based on our own research and assessment against a set of criteria developed for this purpose,” the company says on the page. “We hold these accounts to a higher standard of transparency because we believe they combine the influence of a media organization with the backing of a state.”

Facebook says it plans to add the labels to Instagram ads “in the months to come.” When the company detailed the policy in June, it said it had consulted with 65 experts to create an internal criteria for deciding when the “state-controlled” label is appropriate. As you can see from the screenshots, some of those publications have updated their profiles to dispute the labels. They have the option to appeal them in an official capacity.  

Instagram is rolling the labels out mere weeks before the 2020 presidential election on November 3rd. In the lead up to the election, Facebook has consistently faced criticism for its mostly hands-off approach to misinformation on its platforms. At the end of September, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, called the company “the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation.”

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