Facebook to Continue Probe in Alleged Russian Meddling in Brexit - UK Lawmaker

19 January, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Facebook had been given a deadline of Thursday to answer questions
Credit
AFP

His committee in October asked Facebook, Twitter Inc. and other internet companies to provide information about how the Russian government used social media accounts to influence the Brexit vote and the 2017 election.

Facebook's policy director Simon Milner said the social media network would carry out an enquiry to see if "there was coordinated activity similar to that which was found in the U.S.".

"This work requires detailed analysis of historic data by our security experts, who are also engaged in preventing live threats to our service".

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A study by the Oxford Internet Institute concluded there was scarce evidence that the Kremlin had exploited the social media platforms to influence the British vote.

The British government earlier reported that it has not found evidence of a successful Russian intervention in the democratic processes of the country, including in the referendum.

Facebook agreed on Wednesday to investigate the spread of Russian misinformation ahead of Britain's 2016 European Union referendum, commonly referred to as Brexit. "We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to establish whether or not there was coordinated activity similar to that which we found in the USA and will report back to you as soon as the work has been completed", his letter said.

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The London-based Russian Embassy took the opportunity to cite history's most famous scientist Albert Einstein, quoting him to illustrate to the public the absurdity of a re-investigation. At the same time, the company announced yesterday that they would begin to notify their US users who were exposed to Russian propaganda.

Facebook, which has more than 30m users in the United Kingdom, had originally said it had detected just 97 cents (70 pence) spent on adverts by Russian agents during the referendum, but its response was criticised as inadequate and narrow.

But it did not investigate ad spends from other accounts that could have been linked to Russian Federation. "I'm sure we will want to question Facebook about this when we know the outcome".

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In the May 2017 French Presidential elections, Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts linked to fake news, disinformation, and spam prior to the elections.

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