News Worms
News Worms

Facebook notifications to reveal who saw dodgy Russian election ads

Facebook notifications to reveal who saw dodgy Russian election ads

News of Facebook's new portal comes weeks after Twitter announced the launch of its "Advertising Transparency Center", where users can see how they are being targeted.

Facebook has created a tool that will allow users to see if they liked or followed any accounts linked to Russia's "Internet Research Agency" that intentionally spread misinformation leading up to the 2016 USA presidential election.

The tool is an attempt to fend of accusations that it is being secretive about the reach of fake Russian accounts, and that people are still unaware of what they have seen.

Facebook has revealed it's started work on a tool that will let its members learn if they saw ads published by the "Internet Research Agency", the outfit thought to have been behind mass buys of pro-Kremlin propaganda ads during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Additionally, the tool puts the onus on users to visit the portal, and assumes they know it exists.

USA lawmakers have criticized the tech firms for not doing more to detect the alleged election meddling, which the Russian government denies involvement in.

Over a two-year period around the 2016 election, Facebook said that about 29 million U.S. users directly saw content in their News Feeds produced by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin's official troll army.

This tool will be available by the end of 2017 and will cover the time period between January 2015 and August 2017, basically the entire duration of the US presidential election season.

As has now been well-document, the company did not imagine its platform could be used that way before the election. At the very least, this new tool could list accounts whose content users saw or clicked, even if they didn't follow the account that created it.

It was not clear if Facebook would eventually do more, such as sending individualized notifications to users.

Earlier this month, Facebook testified in front of Congress about Kremlin-linked activity on its platform.

Facebook did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment.


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