Facebook To Inform Users If They Fell For Russian Election Propaganda

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

Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

On Wednesday, the company announced a new tool that would let users see if they had engaged with content created by certain Russian propagandists.

"People are much more affected by content shared by their friends, they are more likely to click on it and spend time reading it and considering its merits when a trusted friend shares it on their Facebook page", said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, which tracks the spread of misinformation online. But Facebook has contended it would be technically hard to dredge up all that information.

"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 in its post.

The company said the tool would be ready to use before the end of the year.

You could soon see whether you interacted with Russian propaganda on Facebook and Instagram during the 2016 election. And about 10 million users saw ads purchased by Kremlin agents around Election Day.

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Additionally, the tool puts the onus on users to visit the portal, and assumes they know it exists. Nor does Facebook's new effort help those who may have viewed any of the roughly 3,000 election-timed ads purchased by Russia's so-called IRA.

The tool, as it's been presented by Facebook at this stage, will only show whether people "Liked" or followed Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts connected to the IRA. The company believes some 146 million Americans were exposed to such posts. US lawmakers have separately published some posts. That list includes Sen.

On Google, Russian actors purchased a small number of ads around the 2016 presidential election. And like Facebook, both Google and Twitter have promised to harden their platforms against disinformation entering the next USA election in 2018 while introducing new political ad transparency measures.

Facebook Inc. said Wednesday that it would build a web page to allow users to see which Russian propaganda accounts they have liked or followed, after USA lawmakers demanded that the social network be more open about the reach of the accounts. It also takes a step forward into the transparency and decisive action that Congress has demanded from the social media site since the allegations came about.

The tool will mark the first step the company takes to actively help the individuals misled during the USA 2016 elections.

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