Friday, 3 November 2017

Facebook pressured to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
It'll have a lot of work to do if it decides to comply.

Facebook is facing pressure from lawmakers, tech analysts and even ordinary users to tell people if they were served Russian-linked propaganda during the 2016 US election period. According to Reuters, Democratic Senator Jack Reed asked during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing the social network attended: "Do you feel an obligation... to notify those people who have accessed [those deceptive foreign government posts]? And can you do that? And shouldn't you do that?" Time Well Spent, an organization critical of ad-supported social media, also pointed out that users who saw those posts might not believe they were manipulated unless Facebook itself tells them.

The social network said that's a tall order, considering over 126 million Americans were exposed to the 80,000 updates and 3,000 ads Russian troll farms posted on Facebook and to the 120,000 they posted on Instagram. Its general counsel argued that he wasn't sure Facebook could even identify everyone who saw those posts, since the company got its numbers from computer models, not from actual counts.

By Mariella Moon.

Full story at En Gadget.

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