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UK asks Facebook for information on Russia-linked accounts

UK asks Facebook for information on Russia-linked accounts
Posted at 7:21 AM, Oct 24, 2017

Facebook is facing more questions over Russian-linked ads -- this time in Britain.

British lawmakers have asked the company to provide information on ads purchased by Russian-linked Facebook accounts around June's general election and last year's Brexit referendum.

Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, has requested details including how much money was spent on ads, how many times they were viewed and which Facebook users were targeted.

Collins wrote to CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week, framing his request as part of an inquiry into fake news and "the role of foreign actors abusing platforms ... to interfere in the political discourse of other nations."

The letter was made public on Tuesday. Facebook confirmed it had received the letter, and said it would respond "once we have had the opportunity to review the request."

Facebook is under intense scrutiny following revelations that Russia may have used the platform to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Related: Russian-bought Black Lives Matter ad on Facebook

The social media giant has acknowledged that it sold approximately $100,000 worth of ads during the presidential election cycle from inauthentic accounts and pages "likely operated out of Russia."

In early October, Facebook provided U.S. lawmakers with copies of 3,000 Russian-bought political ads. It has also provided the documents to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting his own investigation into Russian election meddling.

Collins said in his letter to Zuckerberg that "the information I have requested is in line with that already supplied by Facebook to several United States Senate Committees."

-- Lindsay Isaac contributed reporting.

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