Facebook says it will hand over 3000 Russian ads over to Congress

Facebook says it will hand over 3000 Russian ads over to Congress

Facebook says it will hand over 3000 Russian ads over to Congress

"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", Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said in a blog post.

In Zuckerberg's remarks, in a Facebook live post on his profile, he said that after finding ads linked to Russian accounts that were believed to be attempting to interfere in the 2016 election, Facebook turned them over to the special prosecutor. Facebook has said it was cooperating with related federal investigations, and the revelations have lended credence to the findings of USA intelligence officials that Russian Federation was involved in influencing the 2016 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", said Zuckerberg. He added that Facebook cannot stop all interference, but that it can try to reduce election interference.

Facebook earlier this month agreed to hand over information about the ads from Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the 2016 election and today it made a decision to turn over the information to congressional investigators.

The company said it will not make the ads in question public, citing federal law that "places strict limitations on the disclosure of account information", Schrage wrote. The CEO tried to downplay the content that was found by Facebook saying it was "relatively small".

"We may find more, and if we do, we will continue to work with the government", said Zuckerberg.

"This is an extraordinary investigation - one that raises questions that go to the integrity of the US elections", Schrage wrote. "Those are democratic values, and we're proud of them. These investigations will take some time, but we will continue our thorough review". Both Twitter and Facebook are stepping up their efforts to cooperate with Congressional investigations into Russian interference with last year's Presidential election.

News of the decision came with word that Facebook is cracking down on efforts to use the leading social network to meddle with elections in the USA or elsewhere.

In his speech, Zuckerberg said Facebook would also create a "new standard" for transparency in political advertising so users can better understand which pages are paying for ads.

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. The social media platform said approximately one-quarter of the ads were geographically targeted and ran mostly in 2015 rather than 2016.

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