Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Facebook to release Russian Federation ads to Congress amid pressure

Facebook to release Russian Federation ads to Congress amid pressure

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.

When someone buys political ads on TV, they're required to disclose who paid for them.

The move Thursday comes as the company has faced growing pressure from members of Congress to release the content of the ads.

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.

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.

Twitter representatives will meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee next week as it probes Russian interference in the 2016 election, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly", he said. And, of course, we also recognize and support the important work of government investigations and take care not to take steps, like public disclosures, that might undermine them.

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have been seeking to bring Facebook executives before their committee since the company first revealed the existence of the ads two weeks ago.

Setting aside anything that might be problematic with that approach, Facebook also made the argument that the initial decision to withhold the ads was done so the company wouldn't set a troubling precedent for future information requests from any government. But critics say Facebook should go further. "If you break our community standards or the law, then you're going to face consequences afterwards".

Facebook is already working with programs like ThreatExchange to share information, said Zuckerberg, but it is also exploring other ways to alert its peers about election interference. They say the company should tell its users how they might have been influenced by outside meddlers. But Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the committee, and other lawmakers had criticized the company for refusing to turn over the materials that it had given to Mueller.

He added that the company plans to add more than 250 employees to double the team working on election integrity, and said the company will expand partnerships with elections commissions around the world.

Like this: