Facebook supports full disclosure on Russia-backed ads: Sheryl Sandberg
Oct 13 2017 by Joanne Wise
As people debate Facebook's role in influencing people during the United States 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.
"Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened, especially troubling foreign interference in a democratic election", she said.
Asked if Facebook contributed to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's defeat a year ago, Sandberg, an open Clinton supporter during the campaign, did not answer directly but said it was important the website was "free from abuse" during any election in any country.
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.
Business Insider said a firm that is a major source of news and information for people, generates billions in ad revenue and is producing its own original television shows is classified as a media company and Facebook does all of that. Sandberg told congressional investigators on Thursday that in addition to the ads, the company would provide the rest of the information from accounts linked to Russian Federation, the spokesman said.
"Absolutely", Ms Sandberg told Axios when asked if she supported releasing those ads publicly. Mr Schiff noted that it is unlikely that the ads will be released before tech executives testify before Congress in November.
Congress has been investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with the country to win the election.
Congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russian interference in the election, including whether there was any collusion between Trump associates and Moscow. Trump has denied any such collusion. USA 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.
"We're going to give them the material they want", she said.
They said Facebook lawyers have argued that turning over additional data could compromise its promise of privacy to its users.
Contrary to her claim, Facebook hired former NBC anchor Campbell Brown in January to head up the company's news division and work with other journalists to maximise their use of Facebook's platform.