CNN went in search for a story about a Russian-funded digital media project that produces viral videos aimed at undermining American democracy. When CNN journalists could not find what they were looking for, they effectively manufactured the news by giving Facebook a pretext for removing the project’s pages used to share videos. Now, the cable news network had their story.
Four CNN journalists worked on the report, “Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials.” It appeared online late in the day on February 15 and broke the news that Maffick Media had their Facebook pages for three video channels suspended.
Maffick also produces In The Now, which Facebook took down as well.
Facebook never required pages to include information about their parent companies nor has the social media company ever labeled state-sponsored media, which CNN acknowledged. Yet, since the project involves funding from Russian state media, CNN believed Facebook may want to require the pages to disclose such details.