Lawmakers plan to release divisive Facebook ads linked to Russia as part of an investigation into Russia-backed attempt to sway public opinion during US 2016 election.
Earlier this month, Google uncovered Russia-linked ads on YouTube, Gmail and other Platforms, it’s now Facebook’s turn to do the same.
It’s been confirmed that Russian-linked operatives purchased thousands of politically divisive Facebook ads during the 2016 US presidential election. Congressional leaders, during the week, said they are planning to release the ads.
After meeting with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, the leaders of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, Mike Conaway and Adam Schiff, said on Wednesday that they were working with the company to release the ads publicly.
The committee hopes that Facebook will work with them to release the ads. Schiff told reporters on Wednesday that they’ve asked for Facebook’s help to help scrub any personally identifiable information, and it’s their hope that when they conclude, then they can release them publicly.
Sandberg wrote in a post late Wednesday. “We care deeply about the integrity of our democratic process and we are deeply upset by foreign interference on our platform.”
According to a report on CNET, Conaway said any release would likely come after a Nov. 1 hearing at which officials from Facebook, Google parent Alphabet and Twitter are expected to testify.
Facebook recently disclosed to th committee investigating the allegation of Russian meddling with the election that it found some 3,000 politically divisive ads allegedly purchased by Russian operatives seeking to influence public opinion and promote divisiveness in the US. Facebook has said about 10 million of its social network’s users saw the ads before and after the election.
Facebook is not the only social network involved in this investigation. Twitter discovered 201 accounts that appear to be tied to the same Russian accounts that purchased ads on Facebook last month. Google also revealed earlier this month that Russian operatives also spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail, and other platforms.