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Facebook supports full disclosure on Russia-backed ads: Sheryl Sandberg
13 October 2017, 08:33 | Erica Roy
Facebook has "an enormous responsibility" for Russian interference in US election
Also it is reported that Ms. Sandberg said the ads, pages they link to, and who they were targeted at, have been given to investigators.
Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Thursday the company was fully committed to helping USA congressional investigators publicly release Russia-backed political ads that ran during the 2016 US election.
Business Insider said a firm that is a major source of news and information for people, generates billions in ad revenue and is producing its own original television shows is classified as a media company and Facebook does all of that. The social media platform says that Russia-linked groups spent about $150,000 on political ads, including some promotions that mentioned either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton by name.
"Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened, especially troubling foreign interference in a democratic election", she said.
In an interview with US-based news website Axios on Thursday, she said, "At our heart we are a tech company".
Later Thursday, Sandberg met privately with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, where she was pressed on what the company is doing in response to its discovery that numerous ads pushed by Russian-linked accounts were aimed at sowing racial discord. "We are taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries". Congress is also investigating Russia-linked ads on Twitter and Google.
Last month, Facebook agreed to hand over the ads to congressional investigators in addition to special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has denied any such collusion.
Facebook said it believed the messages were likely bought by people in Russian Federation before and after the 2016 election.
But Sandberg acknowledged the company had erred in how it handled the issue of foreign interference a year ago. US officials have called it a "troll factory" that creates false identities or copies real ones to spread real, skewed, and fake information for the Kremlin.
"We're going to give them the material they want", she said.
They said Facebook lawyers have argued that turning over additional data could compromise its promise of privacy to its users. "What we needed Facebook to understand is that they play a role in the perception of African-Americans, and they are influencers that use their platform to influence this country".
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