Facebook will release Russia-linked ads to Congress, Mark Zuckerberg says

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network would hand over to Congress the political ads purchased by Russian operatives.

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On his first day back from paternity leave, Zuckerberg held a Facebook Live chat and said the company would "strengthen our ad review process for political ads."

One senior source familiar with discussions told Fox News there is a “deal” with Facebook. However, another senior source close to the negotiation disputes that, saying there is no agreement on the breadth of material Facebook may provide. 

FACEBOOK REVAMPS POLICIES AFTER ANTI-SEMITIC AD-TARGETING SCANDAL

Separately on Thursday, Facebook wrote a blog post outlining the steps it would be taking.

“After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators,” wrote Colin Stretch, the company’s general counsel. “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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“At the same time, we will continue our own review and investigation, and to do our part to make sure investigators have the information they need,” Stretch added. “We look forward to their comprehensive assessment, and to a greater public understanding of what took place.”

Earlier this month, Facebook uncovered approximately $100,000, spread across approximately 3,000 ads, in fraudulent ad spending across its network tied to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

These "potentially politcally-related ads" were bought from accounts with U.S. IP addresses, but the language was set to Russian, Facebook noted. Facebook noted the ads did not necessarily violate any policy or law.

FACEBOOK UNCOVERS $100K IN FAKE AD SPENDING TIED TO RUSSIAN OPERATIVES DURING 2016 US ELECTION

In detailing the findings, Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos wrote that the vast majority of the ads did not specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, but rather focused on "divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights."

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia. Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

 

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