CBC members to press Facebook's Sandberg on race issues

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.   Drew Angerer  Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Drew Angerer Getty Images

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says she wished Facebook had sooner discovered that Russians had bought ad campaigns on the site with the intention of influencing the United States site.

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. Facebook says these ads focused on divisive political issues, such as immigration and gun rights, in an apparent attempt to sow discord among the USA population.

Facebook, Twitter and Google executives have been summoned before the Senate Intelligence Committee on November 1, to testify about allegations that "Russians" have used their social media platforms to somehow influence the 2016 presidential election.

In an interview with Axios on Thursday, Sandberg repeatedly refused to answer when asked whether Facebook had seen an overlap in how Russians and the Trump campaign targeted their ads toward users.

Sandberg said Facebook wanted other internet companies to work toward making ad purchases more transparent, and she said Facebook was talking with lawmakers who want to introduce legislation on the issue.

Sandberg said, according to Schiff, that Facebook is "determined to take whatever steps are necessary to ferret out foreign actors creating fake identities and using their platform".

"I think we should seek to facilitate when the intelligence community identifies the Russians are using this platform in the same way that when the intelligence community finds that ISIS or Al Qaeda is using the platform for recruitment, there ought to be a dialogue through Federal Bureau of Investigation or DHS", he explained, per a transcript shared with Recode on Wednesday.

"We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms. and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them", she said. None of the ads was officially shared with the public, although several news outlets said they had been shown some examples.

"You and I as voters are responsible for where we get information and how we trust it, and whether we trust it", Conaway said.

"My personal view is that they are publishers but that is only my personal view, that is not an Ofcom view", she told politicians. Some members of the caucus have been critical of Facebook over the ads, many of which had racial themes.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that Russian operatives invested tens of thousands of dollars on ads on Gmail, YouTube and Google Search products. On Wednesday, she met privately with the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee's Russian Federation investigation.

'We believe that other organizations that worked on the campaign have been asked to do the same, ' Cambridge Analytica said in a statement, adding that there was no 'suggestion of wrongdoing'.

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