Facebook has agreed to release information to congressional investigators on thousands of ads purchased by pro-Kremlin Russian agents leading up to the 2016 election, according to Politico.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is “actively working” with government investigators on the matter. The social network will share 3,000 ads with Congress, according to the Associated Press.
The social network has come under fire recently after disclosing that Russian-tied accounts bought $150,000 worth of ads between June 2015 and May 2017. The company spotted “about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies,” using ads to touch on hot-button issues like immigration and gun control.
Earlier this week, Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller — who is investigating Russia’s impact on the election — information on Russian ad purchases.
In a video posted to his Facebook page on Thursday, Zuckerberg said it’s “not realistic” to prevent “all interference,” but that the company had shut down “thousands of fake accounts.”
“I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting it’s integrity,” said Zuckeberg. “Facebook’s mission is all about giving people a voice and bringing people closer together. Those are democratic values and I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. That’s not what we stand for.”
Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch also released a statement on its deal with investigators. “We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election,” said Hill.
Congressmen have been calling for companies like Facebook and Twitter to share more information on Russian interference. In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he was “distressed that it has taken us this long to be informed that the Russians had paid for at least $100,000 of ads designed to try to influence our electoral process.”
Senator Mark Warner, vice-chair for the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on CNN on Wednesday they don’t know if Americans helped with the spreading of Russian fake news. “We don’t have the answer to that yet,” said Warner. “That’s one of the reasons why we want to hear from Facebook.” Twitter will meet with the Intelligence Committee next week to discuss the influence of Russian bots on its platform.