Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads

Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads

On visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, met with leaders of the House Intelligence Committee and said the company wanted to help investigators and would turn over more information.

In an interview with Axios, the social network's COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook has "an enormous responsibility here", and thinks it's vital the government finds out what really happened and explains it to the American public.

Business Insider said a firm that is a major source of news and information for people, generates billions in ad revenue and is producing its own original television shows is classified as a media company and Facebook does all of that. If the Russian ads had been bought by legitimate accounts instead of fraudulent ones, many of them would have been allowed to run on the site, she said. Sandberg told congressional investigators on Thursday that in addition to the ads, the company would provide the rest of the information from accounts linked to Russian Federation, the spokesman said.

The use of social media platforms was part of what US intelligence agencies have concluded was a broader Russian effort to meddle in the election campaign, an allegation the Kremlin has denied.

"We're going to give them the material they want", she said.

The move comes as critics and lawmakers are increasingly calling for the regulation of Facebook and other internet giants. Before her time at Google and later Facebook, she worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.

More news: U.S. customers can now order food through Facebook

Facebook found the ads on its network and said they had appeared in the months preceding and following the election on November 8. Facebook, she said, does owe America an apology.

"We do not want this kind of foreign interference in Facebook", she added.

"So, Twitter took down the ad and put it back up", Sandberg said.

Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has backtracked from calling the idea of Facebook's influence on the election "pretty insane". "In that ad, there's a lot of positions that people don't like, that I don't like".

Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana who chairs the caucus, said that 95 percent of the 3,000 ads were placed on Facebook itself, while the remaining five percent were on Instagram. Facebook has eight board members, all white.

Related Articles