It was recently reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had requested information related to Russia-run ads on social media giant, Facebook. While exact details were not unveiled, some wondered if Congress would get to see the details of these ads as well. Today Facebook answered that questions.
In a blog post this afternoon, Facebook announced plans to share details of over 3,000 ads that they had found which addressed “social and political issues that ran in the US” and “appear to have come from accounts associated with a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency”, with Congressional investigators. The Internet Research Agency is known to have close ties to the Kremlin, and also known to be behind propaganda related to US politics.
Previously, political pundits argued that Facebook may decide to withhold the information from Congress, and instead only supply it to Robert Mueller, in fear of leaks which could arise. Facebook says that after much legal debate and research, they decided to provide this information to Congress after all.
“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,” Facebook explained. “That is an assessment that can be made only by investigators with access to classified intelligence and information from all relevant companies and industries — and we want to do our part. Congress is best placed to use the information we and others provide to inform the public comprehensively and completely.”
Facebook also made a promise to America that they will continue to do their own research in order to dig up whatever they feel could be relevant to the 2016 election, in hopes of helping Congress and the Special Counsel get to the bottom of Russian meddling in our elections.
“The limited information Congress and the intelligence community have shared with us to date suggests that efforts to compromise the 2016 election were varied and sophisticated — and that understanding those efforts requires a united effort, from across the technology, intelligence and political communities. We believe the public deserves a full accounting of what happened in the 2016 election, and we’ve concluded that sharing the ads we’ve discovered, in a manner that is consistent with our obligations to protect user information, can help.”
Let us know your thoughts. Do you think Facebook is going too far in providing this information to many members of Congress, knowing that it’s possible that some of the info could leak to the general public, or is this move a good one, in order to help protect the integrity of our country? Discuss in the comments section below.