Facebook Helps Users See If They Interacted With Russian Propaganda

Facebook on Wednesday said it would let some of its users see whether they liked or followed pages belonging to Russia-linked operatives that sought to sow political divisiveness around the 2016 US presidential election.

A new page to be published on Facebook’s help center by the end of the year will show whether some accounts interacted with the Russia-linked accounts, Facebook said in a blog post.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy,” Facebook said.

Roughly 150 million Facebook users saw posts shared by pages belonging to the Russian propaganda organization known as the Internet Research Agency, Facebook previously told US investigators.

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.

Facebook’s move to disclose more about such activity on its platform to users follows Twitter’s announced plan to create a public hub that allows anyone to see all ads running on its platform and how they are targeted. Facebook already announced plans to let users see who is behind ads run on its network, but Tuesday’s announcement marks the first time the company committed to showing people non-paid posts affiliated with Russia.

  • Some Facebook users will be able to see which Russia-linked pages they interacted with on the social network.
  • Facebook still won’t tell users whether the propaganda they saw was a paid ad or a post in their News Feed

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