Facebook says they will let its users know if they liked Russian-linked election propaganda

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Facebook announced they are making a portal that will allow users to find out if they liked pages or followed Instagram accounts made by the Internet Research Agency, the Russian internet company that was revealed to be troll farm after the 2016 election.

 The portal will provide a database of those potential pages and accounts that would have been liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017, before and after the 2016 election.

 “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 wrote in a press release announcing the tool.

It will not show specific ads or posts that users may have seen. It will only show the pages and accounts a user has liked or followed that have been linked to Russian meddling.

The tool is set to be available by the end of the year.

The portal will be part of the Help Center on Facebook.

Facebook is among the tech giants that have recently come under fire for their lack of attention on Russian activity on their platform that may have tried to divide the nation and create mistrust during the election of 2016.

Within the last few weeks, the House Intelligence Committee released photos of 3,000 ads during a hearing in which Facebook, Google, and Twitter were testifying before Congress, acknowledging Russian meddling on their platforms.

The social media giant has said that potentially 150 million people have seen the Russian-linked content on Facebook and Instagram.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has started a handful of initiatives that he says aim to better security and transparency for the social network.

In an effort to increase the transparency surrounding advertisements in the future, Facebook previously announced that they are going to make it possible to see what ads that pages are running as well as requiring confirmation of people’s identities before they can buy U.S. election ads.

Facebook has also said they are hiring 10,000 people consisting of engineers, ad reviewers and security experts to better identify violations and fake accounts in addition to updating their policies to block ads that are proved fake by third-party fact-checking organizations.

In order to address fake news, Facebook initiated work to stop misinformation by removing potential financial incentives for advertisers and made updates to hide more clickbait stories for users back in the spring.

“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” Facebook wrote in their most recent statement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

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