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Teen Vogue Facebook 'Article' Causes Much Confusion

Glowing piece was actually a paid ad, but it wasn't labeled as such
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2020 7:50 AM CST
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – Facebook is taking much criticism for how it allows political misinformation to appear on the site. But this week, some good press seemed to appear. "How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election," read the flattering Teen Vogue headline. A photo of a five female executives accompanied the piece, which was a Q&A with them. As it turns out, the piece was too flattering. In fact, it was a paid ad, but it wasn't labeled as such. Confusing statements from both companies involved didn't help clear things up. The related details:

  • The start: The article appeared Wednesday on the Teen Vogue site without a byline. Questions immediately sprang up online, and soon a small line in italics appeared above the piece: "Editor's note: This is sponsored editorial content," per the New York Times. Then the note disappeared. At one point, the name of a Teen Vogue contributor appeared above it, but she tells Mashable she had noting to do with it. Then the whole article disappeared.

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