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Publishers stop Facebook ad spending over policy that treats publishers as political advertisers

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Facebook’s new ad-labeling policy has come under fire from publishers who are concerned that their news articles will be treated as political advocacy ads, and at least two — The Financial Times and New York Media — have suspended their paid media spending on Facebook in response to the policy.

Some publishers also have expressed concern over the requirement in Facebook’s policy that advertisers verify their identity — a stipulation that publishers say would pose liability risks for the publishers’ employees.

Industry association the News Media Alliance argued that the Facebook policy would label and archive paid news articles from publishers the same as political ads and asked for established news organizations to be exempt from the policy.

“We strongly believe to conflate news with advocacy is a very dangerous direction to take,” Jon Slade, the FT’s chief commercial officer, told Digiday, “There’s also a lack of clarity around the liability.”

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