Facebook Tool Lets Users Check if They Liked Accounts Linked to Russia In 2016

NEW YORK -- Facebook said on Friday that it added a tool for users to check if they liked pages and accounts linked to Russian disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said the Russian government exploited social media -- and Facebook in particular -- as part of a campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump. 

Facebook provided a link through their Help Center that lets users if they liked a Facebook Page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian troll farm associated with spreading false information and inflammatory ads.

The company said in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in October that over the course of three years, approximately 29 million people were "delivered" or "served" content from pages related to the IRA. The company believes as many as 126 million people could have seen that content.

Facebook noted in its message that it has shared the information about Russian-linked ads with Congress, and in the weeks leading up to the 2016 U.S. election, Facebook shut down 5.8 million fake accounts in the United States.  

Earlier this month, a congressional aide said Republican and Democratic senators said they would be introducing a bill to improve and streamline information about cyber threats between state and federal entities.

And earlier this week, Facebook said it would be getting rid of the Disputed Flag, a tool introduced a year ago to make it easier for Facebook users to identify hoax articles on their News Feeds. The company said it found that the image of the red Disputed Flag may have conveyed the wrong message to users, leading to inaccurate news reports being shared more often.


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