Is Meta ignoring Communist China's abuses to retain ad revenue? One researcher has argued as much.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, receives billions of dollars in ad revenue from Chinese companies, said researcher and publisher Anders Corr in a commentary piece for The Epoch Times. Meta occasionally cracks down on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accounts or propaganda, but it has also ignored or actively promoted such content in the past, Corr wrote. According to him, the huge stream of Chinese ad revenue, a boost of $7 billion in 2023, could have something to do with the Big Tech company’s pro-China bent.
Corr explained that 20 percent of Meta’s revenue comes from the Asia-Pacific region, even though it’s an American company. Those financial funds could impact what Facebook or Instagram users see — or do not see — at the top of their feed, Corr argued. He cited a 2022 Stanford study that found “countries that see a large increase in views of Facebook advertisement from Chinese state media also see news coverage of China become more positive.” Even the keywords become more pro-CCP. Thus, the Communist Chinese government may be able to influence the media through ad revenue to Meta.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with the CCP propaganda chief in China in 2016, and soon after, The New York Times noted that most of Facebook’s Asian ad revenue was Chinese. By 2019, Corr wrote, a CCP campaign of false accounts was discovered promoting propaganda. While Meta allegedly did away with at least part of this campaign by 2023, Corr explained that the operation just comes back again and again.
Facebook also recently downgraded news in favor of content more similar to Chinese-tied TikTok, Corr accused. “That likely advantages the CCP, given that its paid ‘news’ advertising is now sent to the top of user feeds,” he posited.
Furthermore, Corr warned: “Ads on Facebook contribute to eroding a diverse U.S. economy of small businesses in favor of China’s cheap online mass-marketers.” Smaller U.S. companies can’t compete with Chinese companies’ millions of dollars of ads.
Corr requested voters to pressure elected officials and representatives to take action against CCP ads, given the CCP’s genocidal policies. “While profiting from China’s billions of dollars in ad revenue, Meta and Mr. Zuckerberg are apparently looking the other way on most of the CCP’s influence or only weakly enforcing countermeasures,” Corr argued. Ironically, Facebook is banned in China.
Meta’s platforms have regularly censored conservatives even while platforming CCP state accounts. In fact, MRC Free Speech America particularly highlighted Instagram’s anti-free speech activity among the worst Big Tech censorship of January. Back in Oct. 2022, MRC found 43 CCP and Russian state-affiliated Facebook accounts.
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