Russian-Backed Election Content Reached 126 Million Americans: Facebook

Headshots of three senior executives from Facebook Google and Twitter are shown. Facebook’s Colin Stretch Google’s Rich Salgado and Twitter’s Sean Edgett are shown

Colin Stretch, Rich Salgado, Sean Edgett

According to Recode, Facebook found that about 126 million users in the US may have been exposed to posts, stories and other content created by groups linked to the Russian government.

Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:30 p.m. ET: Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee (Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.) of Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions".

Facebook said it will start disclosing more about political ads, bringing the social network's rules closer to what's required of traditional mediums like television.

But in a response to a tweet raising such concerns, Facebook's vice president of advertising Rob Goldman completely denied that the social networking giant has and ever will use a smartphone's microphone to snoop on users of Facebook's mobile app to harvest information about their interests and fire targeted adverts at them.

Marketing spots will have to be linked to a Facebook page running them.

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. Earlier this week, Twitter unveiled similar disclosure plans for political ads and said on Thursday it would ban Russia Today and Sputnik from advertising on its site.

Meanwhile, Twitter revealed that it would take down advertising from all accounts owned by Russian government-linked media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik after the two were implicated in Russian election meddling efforts by the US intelligence community.

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