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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Supports Releasing Russia-linked Advertisements

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Facebook chief
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, delivers a speech during the visit of a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F, in Paris. voa
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Washington, October 12: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday she “absolutely” supports the public release of all advertisements produced by a Russia-linked organization during the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg said the company is “working on transparency” following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting “divisive” causes like Black Lives Matter.

“Things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened,” she said during the interview with Axios’s Mike Allen.

Later Thursday, Facebook Chief Operating Officer is set to meet with Congressional investigators who are looking into what role the advertisements which began running in 2015 and continued through this year may have played in the 2016 presidential election.

The $100,000 worth of ads represent a very small fraction of the total $2.3 billion spent by, and on behalf of, President Donald Trump and losing-candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaigns during the election.

Multiple congressional investigations have been launched, seeking to determine what effect alleged Russian meddling may have played in the election.

In addition, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting a criminal probe, including whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the election season. Trump has denied working with the Russians.

Facebook had previously agreed to disclose the thousands of Facebook ads to congress. Sandberg said Thursday she thinks “it’s important that [the investigators] get the whole picture and explain that to the American people.”

In response to the Russian ad buys, Facebook Chief Operating Officer said that company is hiring 4,000 new employees to oversee ads and content. She said the company is also using “machine learning and automation” to target fake accounts that spread fake news.

She defined fake news as “things that are false hoaxes” and said Facebook is working to stamp out the bad information by teaming up with third-party fact checkers and warning users before they share news deemed fake by Facebook.

She said it is important to be cautious when going after fake news because “a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves” and “when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”

“We don’t check the information posted on Facebook before people post it, and I don’t think people should want us to,” she said.

Hundreds of fake accounts were used to distribute the Russia-linked advertisements, Sandberg said. But had those ads been posted by legitimate users, “we would have let them run,” she said.(VOA)

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Facebook might lose $23 billion

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

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Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
  • Facebook recently was on the verge of losing $23 billion after they decided to make some changes in the News Feed feature.
  • The change was announced in order to make the time spent on the social networking site more meaningful.
  • However, the change leads to a 4% fall in the share of the Facebook.

Facebook was on course to lose 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) of its value after it announced it was making changes to its News Feed feature that will allow users to see more updates from family and friends than posts from businesses, brands and media.

Facebook share fell 4 percent within hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes to make the social network more meaningful, The Sun reported.

This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay
This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay

This could also result in lining them up for its worst financial position in more than three months — and Zuckerberg losing $3.3 billion of his own personal net worth.

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook late on Thursday.

The CEO said that Facebook has got a feedback from the community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay
The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay

“We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to help you have more meaningful social interactions,” he said.

“As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Zuckerberg added.

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

Zuckerberg admitted that the new changes might not pay off at first, but believes it is important users have more meaningful social interactions, The Sun said. IANS