Facebook to Inform Users If They Liked a Russian Propaganda Account

Karen Bleier  AFP  Getty Images An undated stock

Facebook is trying to alert some U.S. users that they fell victim to Russian propaganda during the 2016 presidential election.

In the coming weeks, the social giant plans to roll out a new tool so that users can check if they followed or "Liked" pages and accounts - on both Facebook and Instagram - that the Kremlin quietly set up over the past two years in order to sow social and political unrest, the company announced Wednesday. But, as Recode notes, this tool is limited to showing you the accounts that you directly follow, not the ones that your friends do, so you're going to only get one piece of the pie.

Facebook says it's trying to be more transparent around how Russian agents used the social network to meddle with last year's U.S. election.

Facebook has revealed it's started work on a tool that will let its members learn if they saw ads published by the "Internet Research Agency", the outfit thought to have been behind mass buys of pro-Kremlin propaganda ads during the 2016 USA presidential election.

FacebookA Facebook press release on the company's plan to increase the transparency in advertising on the site
FacebookA Facebook press release on the company's plan to increase the transparency in advertising on the site

As it is, users will have to see a story about the tool and opt to head to it and check what they had seen.

It's another step - and so far, the most user-specific - in an effort to shed light on Russian meddling before and during the presidential election.

A new page to be published on Facebook's help center by the end of the year will show whether some accounts interacted with the Russia-linked accounts, Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook, Google and Twitter are facing a backlash after saying Russians used their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 USA elections. USA lawmakers have separately published some posts. The issue of Russian digital influence has been so troubling and potentially so widespread, Congress even called top officials from Facebook (as well as Twitter and Google) to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.

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