Russian Federation never placed political ads on Facebook

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Might Want to Re-think His White House Dreams

Now they're in the spotlight.

The Kremlin has denied placing ads on social media in order to sway the result of the 2016 USA presidential election-in fact, Russian Federation does not even know how to advertise on Facebook, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman told journalists Friday.

These political machinations come shortly after Facebook chief exectutive Mark Zuckerberg stole much of their thunder by pre-emptively announcing that he would share 3,000 ads that it believes were bought by Russian-linked individuals and organisations with the House and Senate.

On Thursday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it would release the ads and announced steps that the company will be taking to prevent interference in elections in the future. "That's not what we stand for", he said.

Before that, representatives from Twitter are scheduled to meet with Intelligence Committee staff members next week to talk about the role their company played.

The social media platform had acknowledged about $100,000 (£74,000) in ad spending connected to fake accounts probably run from Russian Federation and was expected to be called before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a public hearing in October.

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Rather than focus on candidates, some ads focused more on divisive topics, such as race, immigration, and gun rights. Recent evidence suggests that Russian Federation may also have taken its efforts offline, using Facebook to orchestrate pro-Trump rallies in more than a dozen cities.

In his speech, Zuckerberg said Facebook would also create a "new standard" for transparency in political advertising so advertisers must disclose which page paid for an ad and so that the public can visit advertisers' pages and see the ads they're now running to any audience on the site.

Lawmakers have complained, however, that the company had refused to hand over copies of the documents to the congressional committees. "But if that's what we must do, then we are committed to rising to the occasion", he said.

Stuart Grant, co-founder and managing director of Grant & Eisenhofer P.A, one of the law firms representing shareholders suing Facebook, said in a statement he was thrilled the tech firm dropped its stock proposal. "These investigations will take some time, but we will continue our thorough review".

The change comes amid revelations that Russian disinformation specialists used Facebook to influence voters during the most recent presidential election. "Now, I wish I could tell you we're going to be able to stop all interference, but that wouldn't be realistic". This can help people determine whether there's variation in terms of messaging, since users can't be 100 percent sure if the ad they're seeing is also the ad someone else is seeing. As our biannual transparency reports make clear, we carefully scrutinise all government data requests, from here and overseas, and we push back where they do not adhere to those legal limitations. "And that's what we're going to do". And those ads probably also had more impact than previously assumed, because they led users to steady streams of other content.

This is not the first time the Facebook boss has jumped to the company's defence over its role in the United States election a year ago. The company will add 250 employees to strengthen election-integrity initiatives, expanding its partnerships with election commissions worldwide and sharing information about existing threats to elections.

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