Mark Zuckerberg gives Russian Federation info to Congress, promises more transparent ads

Laverne Mann
September 22, 2017

Facebook has chose to turn over to Congress copies of more than 3,000 online political advertisements bought through Russian accounts during the 2016 US presidential campaign, reversing a decision that had frustrated Capitol Hill investigators, company officials said Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to make Facebook advertisements more transparent after acknowledging that groups linked to Russian Federation tried to use his website to influence the election.

Facebook also agreed to require political advertisers to disclose who is paying for the advertisements, now a requirement for political ads on television but not on social media. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post and live video on Thursday that he has directed his team to provide the ads, created by fake accounts linked to Russian Federation, to Congress.

"We're looking to foreign actors, including additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states as well as other organizations like the campaigns to further our understanding of how they used our tools", he said.

The adverts had already been released to Federal authorities which are conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Zuckerberg, who has remained largely silent on the subject for months, said in a live broadcast on Facebook that the company was taking nine steps to prevent governments from using the network to interfere with each other's elections.

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He started by saying he is releasing information on the Russian ads to Congress, and added that Facebook who make political ads more transparent.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would "continue working with the government" and strives "to be a force for good and democracy everywhere". "We don't have the answer to that yet", said Warner.

Zuckerberg said the company won't be able to catch all content in its system, since "we don't check what people say before they say it", but that users breaking community standards or the law will "face consequences afterward".

Facebook said in a blog post that "disclosing content is not something we do lightly under any circumstances".

Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch said in a separate blog post on Thursday that the social network treads carefully when releasing information about users or advertisers, but that the company wants to help protect the integrity of US elections.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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