Facebook’s Testimony Says Russia Posts Reached 126 Million Users
Facebook is planning to tell a Congressional panel in more detail just how deeply Russian ads and posts infiltrated the news feeds of U.S. voters on its social network, according to prepared testimony obtained by Bloomberg.
At a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday, General Counsel Colin Stretch will say that 29 million people were directly served content from accounts backed by the Internet Research Agency, a pro-Kremlin Russian group. Those posts, after they were liked, shared and commented on, traveled to the news feeds of approximately 126 million people at some point over a two-year period, his testimony states. That’s equivalent to about 40 percent of the U.S. population.
Facebook’s testimony portrays the company as shocked about Russian use of its platform for political means — and eager to come up with solutions so it doesn’t happen in the future. The planned remarks underscore that the social network is doing its part to coordinate with Congress so investigators can understand the problem. The hearing Tuesday and two more planned for Wednesday mark the culmination of a weeks-long communication offensive with legislators, including blog posts, executive outreach and the hiring of crisis public relations firms. Facebook may be betting that being helpful and conciliatory now makes it less likely to face cumbersome regulation, though the company says it is open to some legislation on advertising.
Powered by WPeMatico