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Democrats to Release Russian-Linked Facebook Ads That Influenced 2016 US Presidential Elections

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the Democrats might release more than 3,000 such ads.

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Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay

In what is seen as an attempt to offer the public a clearer picture of how Facebook was manipulated during the 2016 US presidential election, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are reportedly planning to release thousands of Russia-linked ads on the social network.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the Democrats might release more than 3,000 such ads.

“We have been in ongoing discussions with Facebook and hope to have the final redacted ads in our possession within a matter of days. As soon as we receive them, it is our intention to share them with the public,” The Hill quoted California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff as saying on Sunday.

The ads could be released early this week depending on whether the panel's Democrats can reach an agreement with Facebook over how much to redact, according to the Journal.
Donald Trump . VOA

The ads could be released early this week depending on whether the panel’s Democrats can reach an agreement with Facebook over how much to redact, according to the Journal.

Facebook said the ads were purchased by Russia-linked Internet Research Agency.

While the Republican-majority committee released their final report last month detailing Russian election meddling, Democrats on the committee said the probe had not yet concluded.

The report found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian authorities.

Also Read: Haspel, Trump’s Choice For CIA Director, Withdraws Her Name

Facebook came under the scanner after it was revealed that Russia-linked ads tried to influence the 2016 election.

The social network earlier admitted it had identified 470 accounts connected to the Internet Research Agency.

Facebook is also facing scrutiny for the misuse of its data by Cambridge Analytica.

The social networking giant admitted that the data of up to 87 million users was passed on illegally to the British research firm. (IANS)

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4,000 Viewed NZ Mosques Shootings Live, Claims Facebook

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram

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facebook, social media
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. Facebook said it is aware of outages on its platforms including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. VOA

Facing the flak over its inability to spot and remove the livestreaming of New Zealand mosque’s shooting, Facebook on Tuesday said 4,000 people viewed it before being taken down.

“The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. No users reported the video during the live broadcast,” Chris Sonderby, VP and Deputy General Counsel, said in a blog-post. “Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times in total before being removed from Facebook,” Sonderby added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcasted graphic footage of shooting via Facebook Live for nearly 17 minutes. It was later shared in millions on other social media platforms.

Fifty people were killed in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian national Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

According to Facebook, the first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended. “Before we were alerted to the video, a user on ‘8chan’ posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site,” said Sonderby.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

“We removed the personal accounts of the named suspect from Facebook and Instagram, and are identifying and removing any imposter accounts that surface,” he said.

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram.

Also Read- Netflix Not to Integrate its Services with Apple Streaming Platform

“Some variants such as screen recordings were more difficult to detect, so we expanded to additional detection systems, including the use of audio technology,” Sonderby said.

“In the first 24 hours, we removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack. More than 1.2 million of those videos were blocked at upload, and were therefore prevented from being seen on our services,” he said. (IANS)