Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is “actively working” with the U.S. government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. (Sept. 21)
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook will provide congressional investigators with more than 3,000 ads bought by entities linked to the Russian government to sway the 2016 U.S. election, a capitulation to Washington lawmakers that have criticized the social network’s role in Russian election meddling.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also pledged Wednesday that his company would do everything it could to prevent “bad actors” from again using Facebook to manipulate voter sentiment during elections. He promised Facebook would make the origin of political ads more transparent to its users and it would take greater care in reviewing political ads.
The moves, which run counter to Facebook’s policy, look to shore up support for the company after the damaging revelation that shadowy buyers bought the ads and targeted them at U.S. users between 2015 and 2017.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, said the data being turned over by Facebook “should help us better understand what happened.”
“It will be important for the committee to scrutinize how rigorous Facebook’s internal investigation has been, to test its conclusions and to understand why it took as long as it did to discover the Russian sponsored advertisements and what else may yet be uncovered,” Schiff said in a statement.
In a public appearance streamed live from the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Zuckerberg said Facebook was determined to make it “much harder” for anyone to interfere in elections and to “use our tools to undermine democracy.”
That effort will get its first test during this weekend’s elections in Germany.
“It is a new challenge for Internet communities to deal with nation states attempting to subvert elections. But if that’s what we must do, we are committed to rising to the occasion,” Zuckerberg said.
In early September, Facebook disclosed that it sold approximately $100,000 in political…