Facebook to let users see if they 'liked' Russian accounts | Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Wednesday it would build a web page to allow users to see which Russian propaganda accounts they have liked or followed, after U.S. lawmakers demanded that the social network be more open about the reach of the accounts

Reuters November 23, 2017 03:00:14 IST
Facebook to let users see if they 'liked' Russian accounts | Reuters

Facebook to let users see if they liked Russian accounts  ReutersSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Wednesday it would build a web page to allow users to see which Russian propaganda accounts they have liked or followed, after U.S. lawmakers demanded that the social network be more open about the reach of the accounts. A 3D-printed Facebook like button is seen in front of the Facebook logo, in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationU.S. lawmakers called the announcement a positive step. The web page, though, would fall short of their demands that Facebook individually notify users about Russian propaganda posts or ads they were exposed to. Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) are facing a backlash after saying Russians used their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections. U.S. lawmakers have criticized the tech firms for not doing more to detect the alleged election meddling, which the Russian government denies involvement in. Facebook says the propaganda came from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization that according to lawmakers and researchers employs hundreds of people to push pro-Kremlin content under phony social media accounts. As many as 126 million people could have been served posts on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram, the company says. Facebook has since deactivated the accounts. Facebook, in a statement, said it would let people see which pages or accounts they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017 that were affiliated with the Internet Research Agency. The tool will be available by the end of the year as “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 said. The web page will show only a list of accounts, not the posts or ads affiliated with them, according to a mock-up. U.S. lawmakers have separately published some posts. It was not clear if Facebook would eventually do more, such as sending individualized notifications to users. Lawmakers at congressional hearings this month suggested that Facebook might have an obligation to notify people who accessed deceptive foreign government material. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who had asked for notifications, said Facebook’s plan “seems to be a serious response” to his request. “My hope is that it will be a responsible first step towards protecting against future assaults on its platform,” he said in a statement. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat, called it a “very positive step” and said lawmakers look forward to additional steps by tech companies to improve transparency.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied