SPAN Will Use Facebook to Live-Stream Hearings on Russia Political Meddling

31 October, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Facebook, Google, Twitter execs to testify about Russian misinformation campaigns

US social media giant Facebook will roll out new measures to increase transparency of political advertisements on its platform.

Facebook will be one of the platforms where you'll be able to hear the company's top lawyer get questioned by US lawmakers about the social giant's role with respect to Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Facebook said it's expanding transparency measures to all advertising.

Facebook also announced recently that its Canadian division would run an "election integrity initiative" to promote authentic dialogue and civic engagement in the run-up to the 2019 Canadian federal election. "This equivalents around four-thousandths of one percent (0.004%) of substance in News Feed, or roughly 1 out of 23,000 bits of substance".

The testimony by Facebook's general counsel, Colin Stretch, was submitted to the Judiciary Committee ahead of a hearing on Tuesday with executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter.

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"We show ads based on people's interests and other profile information - not what you're talking out loud about", it said. "A number of the ads encourage people to follow Pages on these issues, which in turn produced posts on similarly charged subjects".

Facebook first informed lawmakers in September that it had identified 470 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, and that those accounts spent approximately $100,000 on more than 3,000 ads between June 2015 and August 2017.

Still, the Post noted, that number is relatively small compared with the total number of posts Facebook users see in their news feeds. That estimate is up from a tally of 201 accounts that Twitter reported in September.

PJ Vogt, the presenter of a tech podcast called Reply All, asked Twitter users to call in on Thursday (26 October) if they believed that "Facebook uses your mic to spy on you for ad reasons".

In an interview with The Atlantic earlier this month, Warner stressed that "all these companies need to come fully clean about what happened in 2016".

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