US Congress tangles with Facebook, other social media firms over Russian Federation probe

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says Congress should 'absolutely' release Russia adverts

The action means that Facebook may be able to help explain to Congress which groups of people and geographic areas were the targets of the Russian ads, and who precisely paid for them.

A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russian Federation trying to influence the USA presidential election should "absolutely" be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting.

"We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms. and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them", she said.

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.

A key question for three separate investigations into how Russian Federation influenced the last election is how the ad buyers knew with such specificity where to place their ad buys, and whether they worked with any political campaigns to do the targeting. Russia-linked ads targeted all three states, as well as others, according to a CNN report.

"The thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression", Sandberg said.

On Thursday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg assured members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that the social media company will name a black director to its board "within the foreseeable future".

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Facebook, she said, does owe America an apology.

"We do not want this kind of foreign interference in Facebook", she added.

She also said, the site had taken steps to stop those behind the fake accounts profiting from the ads they put on Facebook.

She said only that the role Facebook plays in elections "go beyond any one campaign, any one country".

"We have a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion", a Google spokeswoman said, asked about the issue.

Following Ms Sandberg's comments, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that they would eventually release those ads. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat who chairs the caucus, said Sandberg promised to appoint an African-American to the board, a move the caucus and other activists have been pushing for years. Just two of them, including Sandberg, are women.

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