Zuckerberg directs release of Russian Federation ads

Zuckerberg directs release of Russian Federation ads

Facebook will provide to Congress the contents of 3,000 advertisements purchased by Russians during the 2016 U.S. presidential race, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday following weeks of scrutiny surrounding the social network's potential role in influencing elections.

"We've been investigating this for many months now, and for a while, we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russian Federation running ads".

After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators.

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". Mark Warner of Virginia, told FT that the national security threat that Russian Federation had in the 2016 election cycle is "one of the reasons it's so vital that we get to the bottom of what happened on Facebook in the 2016 election, and that Facebook devote the necessary resources to address these vulnerabilities".

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.

Mueller's team questions Deputy Attorney General amid probe of Comey firing
The allegation of criminality was lobbed at Trump after Comey said that he had been pressured to end the investigation into Flynn. The New York Times reported that in the meeting Trump had said that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" on him.

"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.

When someone buys political ads on TV, they're required to disclose who paid for them. But you still don't know if you're seeing the same messages as everyone else. 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 CEO said in a Facebook live video on Thursday that the company would provide the controversial ads to government officials to support ongoing investigations in the U.S. and as part of the social media company's renewed efforts to protect the "integrity" of elections around the world.

Most of the ads did not mention Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but focused on immigration, gun control, gay rights and other divisive social issues.

Zuckerberg noted that most ads on Facebook are bought without an advertiser "ever speaking to anyone at Facebook".

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