The same farm has been linked to the Kremlin, and spent $100,000 on Facebook ads attempting to influence Americans in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.
While the response from the Silicon Valley firm confirms their suspicions, the head of the parliamentary commission investigating the fake news phenomena is not satisfied – having gone on record stating that the company has done a lackluster effort in its attempts to crack down on the issue.
The investigation was aimed towards the Internet Research Agency. It is a St. Petersburg-based troll army that has been effectively linked to the Kremlin.
The group ran a widespread multi-platform ad campaign that was designed to look as if it was comprised of real American activist groups. It covered all major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Tumblr. Over the course of the campaign, their ads were seen by close to 150 million americans only on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook revealed in a Congress hearing.
For the UK-oriented investigation, Facebook audited ads placed during the Brexit campaign period that lasted just over 2 months, starting in 15 April to 23 June, 2016.
Daniel Collins, the head of the aforementioned parliamentary committee, does not believe Facebook has done a sufficient effort to identify the issue.
For its investigation in the U.K., Facebook looked at ads placed during the official campaign period, which lasted just over two months, from 15 April to 23 June, 2016.
“It would appear that no work has been done by Facebook to look for other fake accounts and pages that could be linked to Russian backed agencies and which were active during the EU referendum,” he stated in a tweet moments after Facebook turned in their discovery on the subject.
“Are we to believe that Russian backed targeting of voters through social media with fake news was limited only to Twitter during the EU referendum, when both Twitter and Facebook had been used by them in the USA during the Presidential election,” he wrote.