Facebook will hire 1000 employees to control adverts amid Russian Federation investigation

The Facebook application seen on a phone screen in August 2017 file

Recently, I led House and Senate Democrats in sending a letter to the Federal Election Commission, urging the agency to consider new rules that can help stop foreign governments from anonymously buying online ads to spread misinformation and sow division among the American electorate.

Schrage acknowledged it was "possible" that there were more Russian-bought political ads on the network that Facebook has yet to identify.

On Monday, the world's biggest social platform announced plans to hire an additional 1000 employees to review ad submissions, along with other new policies and procedures created to improve the transparency of Facebook's advertising.

Now, to increase transparency and accountability of advertisers, Facebook will also be showing what other ads are run by the page - immaterial of whether you figure in the advertiser's target audience or not. And roughly a quarter of the ads were not seen by anyone. Committee members are seeking to discern the lengths that Russian President #Vladimir Putin's puppets went to while interfering in the US presidential election in 2016.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg last month announced a crackdown on efforts to use the leading social network to meddle with elections.

Facebook's vice president of policy and communications, Elliot Scharge, said: "Most of the ads appear to focus on divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights".

Facebook handed over to Congress roughly 3,000 ads with links to Russian Federation on Monday.

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Schrage said that the total reach of dubious Russian ads was 10-million people, but only 44% of ad impressions (the number of times ads were displayed) were before the election. He said for 99 percent of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.

"Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes", he wrote on Saturday.

Facebook has revealed that around 10 million people viewed the political ads taken out by a Russian entity on its platform. In many cases, the ads encouraged people to follow pages on those issues.

"This is an issue we have debated a great deal".

However, the group warned that it may not have uncovered all the malicious activity that attempted to interfere in the American political process.

"The 2016 United States election was the first where evidence has been widely reported that foreign actors sought to exploit the internet to influence voter behaviour", said Schrage.

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