Facebook Promises 'New Standard for Transparency in Online Political Ads'

Facebook Promises 'New Standard for Transparency in Online Political Ads'

Facebook Promises 'New Standard for Transparency in Online Political Ads'

The Facebook ads were bought, through fake accounts, by the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy troll farm based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Facebook has already handed over copies of the ads and information about the relevant accounts to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"We want to do our part", the company said, adding that "Congress is best place to use the information we and others provide".

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week" last Sunday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he was "distressed that it has taken us this long to be informed that the Russians had paid for at least $100,000 of ads created to try to influence our electoral process".

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would "continue working with the government" and strives "to be a force for good and democracy everywhere".

Facebook also agreed to require political advertisers to disclose who is paying for the advertisements, now a requirement for political ads on television but not on social media. "Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we'll also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see what ads they're now running to any audience on Facebook".

Facebook, he said, is working proactively to strengthen the democratic process.

"It has always been against our policies to use any of our tools in a way that break the law", Zuckerberg said. That's what happened here.

Facebook said in a blog post that "disclosing content is not something we do lightly under any circumstances". We are deeply committed to safeguarding user content, regardless of the user's nationality, and ads are user content. "And the limited information Congress and the intelligence community have shared with us to date suggests that efforts to compromise the 2016 election were varied and sophisticated - and that understanding those efforts requires a united effort, from across the technology, intelligence and political communities".

Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch said in a separate blog post on Thursday that the social network treads carefully when releasing information about users or advertisers, but that the company wants to help protect the integrity of USA elections.

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