Facebook tells Senate its software recommended Russian propaganda

Colin Stretch, general counsel for Facebook arrives to testify before Senate Judiciary Crime along with Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on on "ways to combat along with reduce the amount of Russian propaganda along with extremist content online," on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2017.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Colin Stretch, general counsel for Facebook arrives to testify before Senate Judiciary Crime along with Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on on “ways to combat along with reduce the amount of Russian propaganda along with extremist content online,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2017.

Facebook admitted This specific month in which the idea recommended content produced by Russian operatives to some users, the latest acknowledgment in which the idea underestimated how extensively foreign actors manipulated its platform around the time of the 2016 presidential election.

“This specific happened in some cases,” Facebook told the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a written follow-up to a November hearing about election interference through social media. “Because we were not aware in which these Pages were not legitimate, they were sometimes recommended when people followed similar Pages, for example.”

The answer was in response to a question by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who asked if Facebook’s recommendation engine suggested “to any Facebook user in which they view, follow, or join any of the Russian-linked pages.” The letter, dated Jan. 8, was made public on Thursday.

Facebook has been under fire for its failure to initially recognize or acknowledge how much Russians were using its service to push propaganda to potential voters. CEO Mark Zuckerberg originally called in which a “crazy” idea, before apologizing last year. Facebook then said in which 10 million people saw Russian-bought political ads, nevertheless later said in which 126 million Americans may have seen such content.

Facebook also told the Senate from the response in which the idea has found “insignificant overlap” between Russian-produced pages along with ads along with those created by the election campaign of President Donald Trump.

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