Kremlin Says It Doesn't Know Who Buys Political Ads on Facebook

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Might Want to Re-think His White House Dreams

Facebook's leader, Mark Zuckerberg, appears to be rather humbled in the wake of the revelation that his company collected $100,000 for shady political ads during the US presidential campaign that were apparently placed by Russian-linked accounts.

And after a series of escalating complaints by the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook said Thursday it was handing over the content of more than 3,000 ads believed to be linked with Moscow's attack on the election.

Zuckerberg's move came a day after Twitter confirmed that it will meet next week with staff of the Senate intelligence committee, which has been scrutinizing the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media during the election.

By turning the Russian ads over to Congress, Facebook has opened itself to future challenges around its internal data. The ads addressed socially divisive issues like gun control, immigration and race relations. Recent evidence suggests that Russian Federation may also have taken its efforts offline, using Facebook to orchestrate pro-Trump rallies in more than a dozen cities.

"As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly", he said.

The illicit Russian exploitation of social media fits squarely into Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, and the companies said they had fully cooperated with his requests for detailed data.

That's why Facebook made a decision to share this information with Congress.

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"That's not what we stand for", he said.

The first step is the delivery of $100,000 worth of Russian Federation ads to government officials and investigators. Facebook's actions this week are the latest indication from the company's leadership that it is willing to accept the responsibility that comes with that reach and influence.

They also promoted some 470 "inauthentic" accounts and pages of fictional people purported to be American activists. "We're going to make political advertising more transparent", he added. We can make it a lot harder.

Going forward, the young CEO is also promising to strengthen Facebook's ad review process for political ads.

In a transparency pledge Zuckerberg went on to vow to undertake a number of additional measures including enabling people to link back to the advertiser's page and view all current campaigns in one place.

Other steps include sharing more cyberthreat information with other technology companies, and expanding its cooperation with election commissions around the world. The concern that Facebook's advertisements may have improperly advanced Russia's political agenda would seem to apply in spades to these outlets.

"I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity", Zuckerberg said.

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