10 Million People Saw Russia Linked Ads: Facebook Inc (FB)

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Facebook Inc (FB) recently unearthed the Russia linked ads purchased on the platform to influence the United States presidential election. Now, the social networking giant has come up with another number revealing that over 10 million people have seen the Russia linked ads, but most of them came across the ads when the election was over.

On Monday, Facebook Inc (FB) said that around 44% of the Russia linked ads were displayed before the 2016 elections. In total, over 3,000 ads were linked with the Kremlin-linked group known as the Internet Research Agency.

Facebook was at the receiving end once the news of Russian agencies tampering with the election got out. Also, the social networking giant is facing increasing pressure from the United States authorities to ramp up the security regulations. Facebook has been asked to present its case to three different committees, explaining the Russian ad campaigns and underlining trigger points such as race to influence the voters.

In response to the criticism, Facebook Inc (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had outlined a series of steps to avoid such incidents in the future. Facebook is looking to increase the workforce by another 1000. These new hires would review the ads to make sure they are fit to be posted on the platform. This step, according to Facebook, would help deter Russia or any other country from meddling in the elections in the future.

The Menlo Park, California-based company said that apart from hiring more people, they are also working on recognizing the patterns that trigger the potential meddling, and send such ads to the human moderators. Facebook Inc (FB) further said it is working towards bringing more privacy in the ad campaigns. In the coming week, users would be able to view all the ads on a page even if they are not the part of the targeted audience.

Further, the company is coming up with stricter norms for the advertisers and groups to show the United States Federal Apart from stricter documentation, ad buyers would also be required to confirm the business or any entity that they represent before purchasing the ads, notes Forbes.

The Zuckerberg led company, however, admitted that they cannot go beyond a certain point in trying to curb the use of platform without undermining democracy. In a statement, the company said, “Even when we have taken all steps to control abuse, there will be political and social content that will appear on our platform that people will find objectionable, and that we will find objectionable. We permit these messages because we share the values of free speech.”

In a post last month, Zuckerberg said he wished that all such activities were under control, but that would not be ‘realistic.’ He stated that the world would never be free of bad people, and that Facebook Inc (FB) cannot prevent the government of every country from interfering. However, they definitely can make it harder, and that’s what the company intends to do, notes CNBC.

On Monday, Facebook Inc (FB) shares closed down 0.82% at $169.47. Year to date, the stock is up over 47%, while in the last one-year, it is up over 32%.

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