A day after Facebook acknowledged the role advertising on its platform played in the 2016 U.S. election, President Donald Trump said it was all part of the “Russia hoax” and the Kremlin denied placing any ads.
In an early-morning tweet, Trump said the “ads on Facebook” were part of the hoax, and asked about “dishonest Media coverage” towards his campaign rival, Hillary Clinton.
The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?
The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media “screaming” for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate!
Also Friday, the Kremlin denied it had placed any advertisements on Facebook to influence the U.S. election.
“We do not know … how to place an advert on Facebook. We have never done this, and the Russian side has never been involved in it,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
On Thursday evening, Facebook bowed to pressure from lawmakers and the public, saying it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, while also pledging to make political advertising on its platform more “transparent.”
“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook video and wrote in an accompanying post. “That’s not what we stand for.”
The moves come amid growing pressure on the social network from Congress members, who pushed Facebook to release the ads after the company disclosed their existence in early September.
Facebook has already handed over the ads to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Facebook’s reluctance to be more forthcoming with information that could shed light on possible election interference has prompted the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee to call for the company to testify in its election-meddling probe.
In one of the first steps Facebook has ever taken to open up its secretive advertising system to observation, the company will now require political ads to disclose both who is paying for them and all ad campaigns those individuals or groups are running on Facebook.