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Global: Media could be classed ‘foreign agents’

International media outlets could soon be labelled as “foreign agents” by the Russian government after a bill was advanced on Wednesday. A unanimous decision was made by legislators of the nation’s lower house of parliament, known as the Duma, to update existing law to implement new requirements on foreign media operating in Russia. This comes...

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International media outlets could soon be labelled as “foreign agents” by the Russian government after a bill was advanced on Wednesday.

A unanimous decision was made by legislators of the nation’s lower house of parliament, known as the Duma, to update existing law to implement new requirements on foreign media operating in Russia.

This comes after researchers at the University of Edinburgh found more than 400 fake Twitter accounts operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), raising concerns about Russia’s influence in British politics, particularly Brexit.

The vote follows the news RT, a Kremlin funded television network, was required to register as a foreign agent in the US earlier this week.

Russian news outlets and officials have implied US news outlets such as CNN would be targeted.

Axel Springer lifts profit by 7 per cent

German publishing house Axel Springer has exceeded expectations by reporting a 7 per cent increase in its third quarter profits.

Axel Springer’s digital offerings acted as the vehicle for the increase, responsible for more than three quarters of its profits.

Expected by a Reuters poll of analysts to reach revenues of up to £843 million, the publishing group experienced a 7.3 per cent lift from last year, hitting £860 million in its third quarter.

In a strategic move, Axel Springer’s digital outlets will be separating from its traditional print titles.

Facebook’s fact-checking fail

Journalists are critiquing Facebook’s fact checking tools, stating that the social giant is more interested in positive PR than creating improvement on the site.

Fact-checking reporters who work for Facebook’s partner organisations say the company refuses to disclose data on the platform’s efforts to stop the spread of fake news.

“I don’t feel like it’s working at all. The fake information is still going viral and spreading rapidly,” an unnamed journalist told The Guardian.

“It’s really difficult to hold [Facebook] accountable. They think of us as doing their work for them. They have a big problem, and they are leaning on other organisations to clean up after them.”

Last December, Facebook partnered with third-party fact checkers, Associated Press, Snopes, ABC News, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org.

The initial plan was for fact checkers to mark untrue articles with public “disputed” tags to identify fake news to readers, however many believe that the plan is not working as intended.

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