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Facebook's Sandberg Favors Release of Russia-Linked Ads

14 October 2017
Facebook's Sandberg Favors Release of Russia-Linked Ads

"They've got to be able to do better than this", Lazowska told GeekWire this week.

Facebook has admitted it shouldn't have allowed fake Russian accounts to fund ads supporting Trump in the United States election and will do everything in its power to help authorities get to the bottom of the alleged election interference campaign.

The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts - likely run from Russian Federation - that sought to influence the election.

In the interview with GeekWire, Lazowska said that Facebook needs to take responsibility for its problems, then dig in and solve them.

Facebook and other major internet companies including Alphabet Inc's Google and Twitter Inc have faced a stream of recent revelations about how Moscow sought to use their platforms to sow discord in the United States and influence the election in favor of the Republican White House candidate, Donald Trump.

A member of Congress who viewed about 70 of the roughly 3,000 ads told The Associated Press that they were meant to stir up strong emotions on all sides.

The use of social media platforms was part of what US intelligence agencies have concluded was a broader Russian effort to meddle in the election campaign, an allegation the Kremlin has denied.

She said the company had been too permissive at times in terms of how advertisers are allowed to target users, and that Facebook did not want to allow ads that may be "discriminatory".

Business Insider said Britain was already considering regulations that would treat Facebook more like a media company. Last month, Facebook agreed to hand over the ads to congressional investigators in addition to special counsel Robert Mueller. Facebook, she said, does owe America an apology.

But Sandberg acknowledged the company had erred in how it handled the issue of foreign interference past year. USA officials have called it a "troll factory" that creates false identities or copies real ones to spread real, skewed, and fake information for the Kremlin.

But she also said that had the ads been linked to legitimate, rather than fake, Facebook accounts, "most of them would have been allowed to run".