Facebook is Set to Launch Tool That Informs Users if They Have Fallen for Russian Propaganda


Facebook is said to be creating a new tool that will help users check if they have interacted with social media pages that were created by Russian groups as part of propaganda.

The social network said that it would roll out a new web portal in its online Help Centre that will enumerate now-deleted pages that were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency that users may have liked or followed.

The said agency is a Kremlin-linked group that is based in St Petersburg which the social media giant describes as having created Instagram and Facebook accounts in order to “sow division and mistrust” regarding the election in the United States.

Earlier in November, Facebook informed the US Congress that as many as 150 million of its users might have seen political adverts on its social media platform, having discovered thousands of posts and advertisements paid for by agents who are linked with Russia.

Globally, the social network has over two billion active users.

In a blog post, Facebook said: “This is part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy.

“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election.

“That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.”

Facebooks says that the new tool will be live by the end of 2017. It will cover the period between January 2015 and August 2016.

Following last year’s US presidential election, Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder and chief executive, said that it was a “pretty crazy idea” to say that fake news that were spread on the site influenced the election.

Zuckerberg has since admitted that he regretted those comments and said that it was “too important an issue to be dismissive.”