SECRET TIES

Facebook Suspends Three Russia-Backed Video Channels

Facebook suspended three video channels on Friday, sometime after the social media giant learned that these pages did not disclose their financial ties to Russia, according to CNN. A company named Maffick Media runs these pages, but the main stakeholder is a subsidiary of RT, a news company funded by the Kremlin. Maffick Media does have Los Angeles-based freelancers and contractors, but it’s registered in Germany, not the United States, per CNN. Facebook said it would contact the people who run these pages and ask them to disclose both the pages’ affiliation with Russia, as well as where they pages are based, before the suspension is lifted. Maffick Media’s pages do not feature information about its links to RT. While Facebook doesn’t require that users such as Mafick Media disclose information on their pages’ parent companies, the move comes as the tech company is trying to increase transparency about who is behind popular pages. Facebook has drawn fire for a lack of transparency over who runs popular pages due to Russia’s social media-fueled attempts to influence the 2016 election.