Google 'discovers Russia-linked ads' on YouTube and Gmail before USA election

The logo of social media and networking site Facebook is reflected in an eye

Sheryl Sandberg was interviewed by Axios' Mike Allen in Washington D.C. on Thursday about campaign ads that Russians purchased on Facebook during the United States election in 2016.

Russia's election meddling is being investigated by multiple congressional panels as well as an independent Justice Department probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

But she also said that had the ads been linked to legitimate, rather than fake, Facebook accounts, "most of them would have been allowed to run".

During the closed door meeting, Sandberg told lawmakers that Facebook is working hard to ensure Americans 'understand what the propaganda is that they may or may not be reading, ' Conway told reporters after their discussion.

"We've asked for Facebook's help to scrub any personally identifiable information, but it's our hope that when that concludes we can release them publicly", Schiff said. The social media company found them on its network and said they appeared in the months before and after the vote.

She and two other Facebook executives, Erin Egan and Elliot Schrage, also met privately with Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat and member of the House Intelligence Committee.

The interview with Sandberg came during a multi-day visit to Washington that included meetings with U.S. lawmakers. She is expected to give a live interview with the news website Axios on Thursday.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, will next month testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees about Russian Federation meddling in the presidential election.

Schiff said Sandberg wanted to convey that the company is serious about the issue to members of Congress, some of whom have expressed concerns that the company was reluctant to share information and ensure that foreign governments don't wage information campaigns in US elections.

"I think we should seek to facilitate when the intelligence community identifies the Russians are using this platform in the same way that when the intelligence community finds that ISIS or Al Qaeda is using the platform for recruitment, there ought to be a dialogue through Federal Bureau of Investigation or DHS", he explained, per a transcript shared with Recode on Wednesday. "We know we have a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent this kind of abuse".

Still, Sandberg said it was important to protect "free expression" on Facebook.

Twitter took down the video, saying a remark Blackburn made about opposing abortion was inflammatory, but later recanted.

After Congressional pressure, Facebook handed over the over 3,000 ads, which 10 million people saw.

Representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify about Russian influence at hearings before the Senate and House intelligence committees on November 1.



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