Facebook to tell users if they interacted with Russia’s ‘troll army’

The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – California

Facebook has promised to tell users whether they liked or followed a member of Russia’s facebook notorious “troll army” who are accused of trying to influence elections in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The social network says it will create a tool allowing users to see whether they interacted with a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-backed organisation based in St Petersburg that carries out online misinformation operations.

“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” the company said in a statement. “That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.”

The tool will not be able to warn everyone who may have seen content created by the IRA, however. The company estimates that more than 140 million people, across both Facebook and Instagram, may have seen a story initially created or shared by one of those Russian-run accounts or page, in addition to the 10 million people who saw adverts bought by Russian state – sponsored actors.

The majority of those people will not have liked or followed a Russian-backed account, instead having seen the content when it was shared by friends or promoted on to their newsfeed through some other facet of Facebook’s curation algorithm. Facebook will not tell those users about their exposure to misinformation, although the company has not said whether it is unable, or simply unwilling, to provide that information.

Both Facebook and Twitter have steadily been making public the results of their investigations into Russian influence operations on the 2016 US election. As well as this new Facebook tool, Twitter released to the US Congress a list of 2,752 accounts it believes were created by Russian actors in an attempt to sway the election.

Source : Guardian

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