Facebook Accused of Inaction Due to Russian Ads Regarding the Brexit Campaign

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On Wednesday, a senior British MP accused Facebook of failing to seriously investigate the possible Russian influence in the Brexit vote, after it discovered only three adverts that are linked to a noted propaganda group.

The chairman of parliament’s culture and media committee, Damian Collins, reiterated his request for information as a part of an investigation into the effect of “fake news” during the referendum vote to withdraw from the European Union last year.

The committee and the Electoral Commission, the elections watchdog of Britain, have both requested Facebook and Twitter for details regarding Russian-backed adverts on their platforms during the campaign for the referendum.

It comes following an evidence of activity by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian resource for spreading propaganda, during the presidential election in the United States last year.

In a letter that was sent to the Electoral Commission, Facebook said that the said agency had paid for only three ads to British audiences during the campaign for Brexit, which were worth only $0.97.

Facebook stated: “This amount resulted in three advertisements (each of which were also targeted to US audiences and concerned immigration, not the EU referendum) delivering approximately 200 impressions to UK viewers over four days in May 2016.”

The social media giant said that it took the request “very seriously” and supported the investigation of the commission.

However, Collins said that Facebook had limited its inquiries, stating: “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, as I requested.”