Facebook to turn over to Congress Russia-linked ads

Facebook to turn over to Congress Russia-linked ads

Facebook to turn over to Congress Russia-linked ads

Facing an intense scrutiny over the presence of Russian ads on its platform during the 2016 American presidential election, Facebook will finally hand over almost 3,000 Russian political ads to US Congress on Monday.

In a statement on Monday, Facebook said it would add more than 1,000 people over the next year and invest more in software to flag and take down ads automatically. The handover of the ads came after months of denial by Zuckerberg that Facebook played any role in influencing USA voters.

Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday with more than 3,000 ads that ran during the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency.

Facebook enabled the advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of nearly 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of "Jew hater", "How to burn Jews" or "History of why Jews ruin the world", a ProPublica investigation revealed.

According to a ReCode report, along with the Russian ads, Facebook plans to share information about the users those ads targeted and how they were paid for with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Facebook has already handed over copies of the ads and information about the relevant accounts to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The company has said it would disclose ads to Congress that were purchased by Russians on the social media platform in the country's effort to influence the 2016 USA election.

"We are sharing these ads with Congress because we want to do our part to help investigators gain a deeper understanding of Russian interference in the U.S. political system and explain those activities to the public", Joel Kaplan, vice president of Facebook's global policy, said.

Twitter has said it found postings linked to those same accounts, and the House and Senate intelligence panels have asked both companies, along with Google, to testify publicly in the coming weeks.

It is unclear whether the Facebook ads turned over to Congress will eventually be released publicly.

We've asked for clarifications and will update if we get them.

Facebook has said the ads addressed social and political issues and ran in the United States between 2015 and 2017.

The ads were linked to about 470 fake accounts likely operated out of Russian Federation.

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