Facebook doesn't hire journalists: Sheryl Sandberg

13 October, 2017, 20:36 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin

Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public.

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, made the comments during her first public interview since Facebook announced that it had found Russia-linked accounts that bought ads during the 2016 United States election 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.

Information about how the ads were targeted toward specific kinds of users would also be released, she said. The ads included promoted events and amplified posts that show up in users' news feeds.

Facebook later disclosed that information to Congress, which is investigating Russian meddling in the election.

Congress has been investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with the country to win the election.

Sandberg and others from Facebook appeared before U.S. congressional panels looking into reports of Russian interference in the election.

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.

Congressional sources said some of the Facebook messaging went to groups with seemingly legitimate names such as Heart of Texas, Defend the Second, and United Muslims of America, which they said all had as many as 250,000 followers.

"The thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression", Sandberg said. Before her time at Google and later Facebook, she worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Sandberg and others from Facebook were asked to appear before congressional panels earlier this week to provide the information.

Sandberg said Facebook would provide additional material to investigators as needed to determine the level of foreign interference in the USA election.

Sandberg said that Facebook is run by technical workers and engineers and according to her, the company does not produce news content, therefore it can't be a media company. "Not just an apology, but determination for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election", she said.

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