back to article Facebook to save US users from ads bought by foreign state-controlled media

Facebook will hide ads bought by state-owned media outlets from its US-based users, as part of its plan “to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of the November 2020 election in the US.” Explained in a post by head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is a right-wing propaganda machine

    Avoid it if you are sane.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook is a right-wing propaganda machine

      There are also social media platforms which currently provide shit storms of uneducated, irrational, fairy tale points of views which are clearly no better.

      Anyone using Social Media as a basis for understanding how to vote in order to make a better country, for all, really needs to think again. What's the betting that the majority of them don't actually subscribe to their politicians streams.

      Good news, its very easy to avoid both of them and simply make an opinion on ones own.

      And don't forget to turn of the TV as that's full of non objective views as well.

      1. Drew Scriver

        Re: Facebook is a right-wing propaganda machine

        You mean voters ought to actually seek out information before they cast their ballot?

        Most of them wouldn't even be able to identify who would succeed the president in the event both he and the VP were to be incapacitated, what the role of the SCOTUS is, explain the difference between the Senate and the House, what the branches of government are, and so forth.

        People generally vote on emotion, not on fact.

        It's curious - if a foreigner want to attain the right to vote in the US he or she will be required to study civics and take a test. If they don't pass they don't get to become a US citizen - and thus can't vote.

        The vast majority of Americans would fail this (fairly basic) civics test if they had to take it...

    2. Drew Scriver

      Re: Facebook is a right-wing propaganda machine

      Right-wing is generally equated with conservatism and left-wing with liberalism/progressiveness.

      From that perspective it would be hard to argue that FB is right-wing. I'm curious as to how FB could be labeled right-wing.

  2. macjules Silver badge

    Facebook to save US users from ads bought by foreign state-controlled media

    Zuckerberg: "Can someone please close the stable door?"

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Facebook to save US users from ads bought by foreign state-controlled media

      And what about non-state owned troll farms? State owned non-media outlets? What if they don't declare it as a political ad?

      What about people in countries other than the USA, they have elections as well, you know... Although the NSA would probably complain if they were stopped from placing ads in some foreign climes.

      Why not force all ads to be country specific and only accepted when the placer of the ad has a tax identity number for the country they are placing the ad in and actually vet the ads? You know, like a responsible media outlet.


    Pandora's box

    Look in the corner, guys. I'm sure I saw something in there.

  4. jake Silver badge


    There are ads on Facebook? I've never noticed.

    1. Drew Scriver

      Re: Ads?

      I haven't been able to log in for years - FB is suspicious of my lack of logging in frequently and requires that I provide them with a copy of my driver's license to prove my identity.

      Based on what I'm hearing about FB I'm not missing anything worthwhile so I'm happy with the status quo.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Consciensciousness theatre

    Both FB and Twit seem to be merely pandering to public expressions of concern. They have no genuine vested interest in promulgating truth - it's irrelevant to the business models of both. But then, whose business model these days includes that interest?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Let's get this straight, the country that has military bases in 135 out of 200 countries around the globe is concerned about exposing their own people to foreign interference. The word "hypocrisy" comes to mind as does the old English saying "what goes around, comes around"...eventually, and hits you on the back of the head.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Interference

      I don't think they're the same countries.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: "I don't think they're the same countries."

        You are right, of course.

        But it has nothing to do with the point being made.

    2. Drew Scriver

      Re: Interference

      Quick - name a country that welcomes foreign governments trying to influence its elections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interference

        Well I would imagine that any of the people in dictatorship countries would hope that foreign meddling would actually provide them with alternative solutions or at least some hope.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Interference

          Quite a few of the world's dictators have owed their postions to foreign meddlers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interference

        Look up Netanyahu's relation with Donald...

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    So rather than refusing to sell something to someone they consider a bit iffy, Facebook will take the money and then block the ad?

    So good to see they have their priorities right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think that's how it works. Ad platforms typically charge per "clicks" and "impressions", so if ads are not shown there is no cost to the customer.

  8. crayon

    Which is worse - state-owned media or media-owned states?

    1. JCitizen Bronze badge

      You got that right crayon..

      nuff said.

  9. Call me Deckard

    The Farce Continues

    I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, the idea that a bunch of foreign agitators are “destroying American democracy” via the posting of subversive content on Facebook...or the idea that millions of people can be unwittingly persuaded/hypnotized by ads and memes posted on “social” media like Facebook to do the bidding of shadowy “nefarious actors” out to destroy western civilization.

    That the discontent on display across the west is perhaps a symptom of the fact that western governments are failing to deliver to their people the wonderful fruits of globalization and neoliberal economics that they were promised throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, and that endless austerity and massive economic inequality has real consequences for real people, apparently never occurred to the mad purveyors of Cold War 2.0.

    Or, alternatively, maybe that is exactly why they obsessively point fingers at a collection of cartoonish foreign scapegoats.

    1. JCitizen Bronze badge

      Re: The Farce Continues

      Its all just a US Democratic party paranoia about letting anyone have an opinion and openly express it. Even if you get rid of the foreign influence, comments made by US citizens on FB are shuttered, just because they disagree with the leftist agenda. I never hear complaints from my "progressive" friends about their comments getting stiffed by the FB moderation.

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