Facebook will soon alert users who liked a Russia-linked page

Mandy Carr
November 23, 2017

You could soon see whether you interacted with Russian propaganda on Facebook and Instagram during the 2016 election.

Facebook's new tool for viewing propaganda ads is the latest salvo in a damage-control campaign by the company that kicked into high gear last month, when they were caught redacting references to Russian Federation from an April report on the way its platform was manipulated during the election. "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".

Facebook has not defined whether "Russian linked" indicates association with the Russian government or simply with ethnic Russians or citizens of Russia.

"The most obvious one that is typically the most reliable is location information that is transmitted by the user's browser when they use Facebook", Stretch told the senators. "It's also the most manipulable", he added.

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The company said Wednesday it will launch a portal to let people see which accounts of the Internet Research Agency they followed between January 2015 and August 2017.

"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 USA election", Facebook said while announcing the update to their online support system. The tool will be available by the end of the year.

Skeptics of the potential impact the ads had on the election have noted that the estimated $46,000 worth of Facebook advertisements purchased by the Internet Research Agency was dwarfed by the tens of millions of dollars in Facebook ads bought by the Trump campaign and that of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But it won't show users if they merely saw — or even "liked" — posts from those pages. 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.

However, not all of those users will be able to take advantage of the portal. The social network said it would make advertising across the board more transparent and strengthen "enforcement against improper ads" by hiring 1,000 additional review staff.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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