Facebook Plans To Tell Users Which Russian Accounts They Followed

Facebook will help some users figure out if they saw Russian propaganda during the 2016 US presidential election

Facebook will help some users figure out if they saw Russian propaganda during the 2016 US presidential election

The social media behemoth announced on its blog today that it is in the process of building a tool to allow users to see which posts from the Russian Internet Research Agency-now the Federal News Agency, or FAN-appeared in their feeds during the 20-month period between January 2015 and August 2016.

Facebook is creating a tool that will allow users to check whether or not they followed Russian propaganda accounts on Facebook or Instagram during the 2016 U.S. election cycle, the company announced today.

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When this tool will be available wasn't stated, nor further details about it such as whether all users will be pointed toward it. That's the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as USA citizens.

Having admitted that Russian Federation bought ads on the site, Facebook is now developing a tool that will enable users to determine if they interacted with the Internet Research Agency - the propaganda company also known as the Trolls from Olgino. Representatives from Facebook along with Google and Twitter testified on the ordeal earlier this month.

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"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 U.S. election", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. The companies vowed to do more to prevent anything similar from occurring in the future, and said they would look into the possibility of informing users about their exposure. And more than 140 million people on Facebook and Instagram potentially saw Russian-sent stories because friends interacted with them. About 29 million U.S. users saw content in their News Feeds produced by the Internet Research Agency, according to Facebook. "It's a much more challenging issue to identify and notify reliably people who may have been exposed to this content on an individual basis". Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of CT, as well as Rep. Teri Sewell of Alabama - had pushed Facebook to find a way alert its users about their exposure to Russian disinformation. That position fell flat when senators noted that Facebook's business model is based on the targeting and tracking of ads.

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