Facebook will help investigators release Russian Federation ads, Sandberg tells Axios

Screen Shot 2017 10 05

Meanwhile, Congress has started multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, with lawmakers on both sides saying Russia meant to sow discord in the U.S., spread propaganda and sway the election to elect Donald Trump.

In addition to the ads, Facebook will be handing over the pages they link to and supporting targeting data to Congress, Sandberg told Allen.

Facebook had earlier turned over 3,000 Russian-linked ads to the intelligence committees but bristled at the notion of releasing them, citing the company's privacy policy.

The Sandberg discussion is part of a growing feeling in the CBC that lawmakers need to draw the line with technology companies who they say are neglecting matters that hurt people of color on their platforms and within their companies.

Officials from Facebook and the committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment. She is expected to give a live interview with the news website Axios on Thursday.

The interview with Sandberg came during a multi-day visit to Washington that included meetings with USA lawmakers. She said the company is also using "machine learning and automation" to target fake accounts that spread fake news.

Facebook and other major internet companies including Alphabet's Google (GOOGL.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) are on the defensive as they try to limit fallout from a torrent of revelations about how Moscow sought to use their platforms to sow discord in the United States and influence the election. 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.

"I think we should seek to facilitate when the intelligence community identifies the Russians are using this platform in the same way that when the intelligence community finds that ISIS or Al Qaeda is using the platform for recruitment, there ought to be a dialogue through Federal Bureau of Investigation or DHS", he explained, per a transcript shared with Recode on Wednesday. "Any time there is abuse on our platform, it troubles us".

Sandberg said it was important to protect "free expression" on Facebook and that if the Russian ads had been bought by legitimate accounts instead of fraudulent ones, many would have been allowed to run on the site. Twitter took down the video, saying a remark Blackburn made about opposing abortion was inflammatory.

"In that ad, there are a lot of things that people don't like, that I don't like".

"When these bad actors are trying to cause harm, they don't just go on our platform - they go on others", Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Axios on Thursday.

All three companies have been asked to testify publicly about Russian interference before both the House and Senate intelligence panels on November 1.

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