Facebook releasing 3000 Russian-bought adverts to Congress

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Facebook will share the content and related information of the more than 3,000 ads it sold to Russian-linked accounts with the House and Senate intelligence committees, the company said Thursday. The propaganda was traced back to almost 500 inauthentic accounts and pages.

Zuckerberg announced a series of steps that would help prevent the manipulation of the social network including more transparency on political ads appearing on Facebook.

Earlier this week, Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller - who is investigating Russia's impact on the election - information on Russian ad purchases.

"We support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public and we expect the government to publish its finding when the investigation is complete", Mr Zuckerberg said.

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"We're going to make political advertising more transparent", he said.

Facebook announced earlier this month that it had shut down pages over concerns of election interference.

. "Freedom means you don't have to ask permission first, and that by default you can say what you want".

The move is an about-face for Facebook, which earlier this month said it had given the ads and other information to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is conducting a criminal investigation of possible links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. "Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we'll also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see what ads they're now running to any audience on Facebook". He did not say how long ads will be considered "current" and remain available for view after their initial run.

Zuckerberg noted that most ads on Facebook are bought without an advertiser "ever speaking to anyone at Facebook".

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Zuckerberg said the company won't be able to catch all content in its system, since "we don't check what people say before they say it", but that users breaking community standards or the law will "face consequences afterward".

But the 33-year-old billionaire wunderkind, who has faced rumors of his own political ambitions, unveiled nine steps he is going to take to "protect election integrity" on Thursday.

Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch shared additional details about the decision in a blog post that went up as Zuckerberg spoke.

"This is an extraordinary investigation - one that raises questions that go to the integrity of the USA elections", Schrage wrote. 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.

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