Facebook to show users if they 'liked' alleged Russian propaganda

Facebook to show users if they 'liked' alleged Russian propaganda

Facebook to show users if they 'liked' alleged Russian propaganda

While Facebook is introducing the tool to try and make the Russian activity more transparent, the platform is facing criticism over the portal's technical limitations.

On Wednesday, the company announced a new tool that would let users see if they had engaged with content created by certain Russian propagandists. The social media firm reportedly plans to allow only some users access to the portal. That's important because paid reach and reshared posts by other users are how numerous 146 million Facebook and Instagram users encountered election interference content. 20 million Americans saw a combination of Russian troll ads and direct posts on Instagram.

"I hope that Google and Twitter will follow Facebook's lead", said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Above: Facebook will set up a portal for users to find out if a Page or Instagram account they follow was created by Russian actors.

FacebookA Facebook press release on the company's plan to increase the transparency in advertising on the site
FacebookA Facebook press release on the company's plan to increase the transparency in advertising on the site

Twitter banned the ads from RT (formally Russia Today) and the Sputnik news agency in October over election meddling. The company believes some 146 million Americans were exposed to such posts.

"It's a much more challenging issue to identify and notify reliably people who may have been exposed to this content on an individual basis", Colin Stretch, the company's general counsel, said during the appearance before Congress. Users will basically be told if they were part of the problem during the recent attack on U.S. Democracy.

"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 USA election", Facebook said in its blog post revealing its new transparency project. And like Facebook, both Google and Twitter have promised to harden their platforms against disinformation entering the next US election in 2018 while introducing new political ad transparency measures.

"We look forward to additional steps by the companies to improve transparency with respect to Russian abuse of their platforms, and urge them to furnish a joint report on how Russia used these platforms to sow discord and influence the election".


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