Zuckerberg says Facebook will give Russian Federation linked ads to Congress

Lynne Hanson
September 22, 2017

Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch also released a statement on its deal with investigators.

"We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election", Stretch says in a Facebook Newsroom post.

An internal Facebook review showed that Russia-linked fake accounts were used to buy ads aimed at exacerbating political clashes ahead of and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "We don't check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don't think our society shouldn't want us to", Zuckerberg said".

In addition to the 470 accounts that appeared to be run from Russia, Stamos said its investigators also discovered an additional $50,000 in spending via 2,200 ads that "might have originated in Russia", even including ads purchased by accounts with IP addresses in the USA but set to Russian in the language settings.

"We support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public and we expect the government to publish its finding when the investigation is complete", Mr Zuckerberg said.

He said Facebook "won't catch everyone immediately", but instead can "make it harder to try to interfere". The CEO tried to downplay the content that was found by Facebook saying it was "relatively small".

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"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. "Those are democratic values, and we're proud of them".

"This is an extraordinary investigation - one that raises questions that go to the integrity of the US elections", Schrage wrote. "These investigations will take some time, but we will continue our thorough review".

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is going to "strengthen our ad review process for political ads" and use "an even higher standard of transparency" than exists for television and other media already.

Zuckerberg said Facebook will more than double the team working on election integrity, without revealing how many staffers that now does or would eventually entail. Bringing up the German elections next weekend, the company said it will expand partnerships with election commissions worldwide and will create channel of online risks during elections.

The ads, which cost about $100,000 to $150,000, focused on social issues, including same-sex marriage and LGBT civil rights, gun control, immigration, and race relations.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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