May 23, 2018

Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

25 November 2017, 12:57 | Rudolph Thomas

EnlargeChris Ratcliffe Bloomberg via Getty Images

EnlargeChris Ratcliffe  Bloomberg via Getty Images

In addition to creating the bogus accounts, which were designed to spread misinformation and influence U.S. voters, Facebook said the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency spent $100,000 on over 3000 ads displayed around the time of the election. But Facebook has contended it would be technically hard to dredge up all that information.

Further progressing on its plans to 'combat fake news and propaganda', the social media page is now adding a tool to allow users to identify whether or not they have interacted with Russian propaganda pages.

Facebook previously disclosed that the Internet Research Agency had created 80,000 posts on 120 pages over more than two years that were meant to influence the USA presidential election.

"This tool will be available for use by the end of the year in the Facebook Help Center", Facebook continued.

While Facebook will show some users the affiliated pages they liked or followed, the company maintains that technical and privacy reasons keep it from showing whether such propaganda was shown as a paid ad or as a post in the News Feed. Previously, though, companies' leaders have expressed doubts that they even have the ability to reach out to 140 million or more Americans that might have viewed Kremlin propaganda. But this is the first attempt to notify individual Facebook users that they were exposed to the content. That list includes Sen. Spokespeople for Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Wednesday.

"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 USA election", the company wrote in a blog post. And like Facebook, both Google and Twitter have promised to harden their platforms against disinformation entering the next US election in 2018 while introducing new political ad transparency measures. And it's also why we're building the tool we are announcing today.

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