Facebook ' fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data

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As people debate Facebook's role in influencing people during the USA presidential elections by Russian ads and fake news on the platform, the company's COO Sheryl Sandberg has stressed that the social media giant is not a media organisation, and therefore does not hire journalists. "We're going to give them the material they want", she said.

During Sandberg's visit, caucus members not only took Facebook to task over its lily-white board of directors, prompting Sanberg's vow to help diversify the company, but also the Russian-bought ad referencing Black Lives Matter meant to fuel race-based tensions.

"Things happened on our platform in this election that shouldn't have happened", Sandberg said during an interview in Washington with the Axios news website.

Facebook has turned over the ads - and information on how they were targeted, such as by geography or to people with a certain political affiliation - to congressional investigators.

Facebook's disclosures come as Congress considers potential regulations on the platform, and Democrats have called on the Federal Election Commission to adopt rules to block foreign agents from purchasing political ads on social media.

Facebook disclosed last month that it had found some 3,000 politically divisive advertisements believed to have been bought by Russian Federation before and after the presidential campaign. The accounts created to fund the ads and the ads themselves have now been removed, however.


Sandberg said the company wanted other internet firms to work to make ad purchases more transparent, but said the company was still talking about the issue with lawmakers who want to introduce legislation on the topic. "We'll continue to provide information".

A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to an email requesting comment.

She said the company had been too permissive at times in terms of how advertisers are allowed to target users, and that Facebook did not want to allow ads that may be "discriminatory".

Twitter engineers are trying to regenerate some of the lost data, and may be able to retrieve some of it, said a person familiar with the company's technology.

In September, Facebook disclosed that it had evidence that an operation based in Russian Federation had spent $100,000 on thousands of sponsored posts promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year period through May 2017. "We're angry, we're upset, but what we really owe the American people is determination", to address foreign meddling. The company's 2017 diversity report showed that women now make up 35 percent of Facebook's global workforce, up from 33 percent past year. US officials have called it a "troll factory" that creates false identities or copies real ones to spread real, skewed, and fake information for the Kremlin. "And I just think it's fallacious for them to argue that they don't have a responsibility and that they haven't had influence", he said.

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