Russian meddling in Brexit probed

Facebook is investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum | Justin Tallis  AFP via Getty Images

The social media site told the Government's fake news inquiry it will search for "clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum" which appear to have originated in Russian Federation.

Mr Collins' committee released a letter from Facebook's United Kingdom policy director Simon Milner on Wednesday, in which the company promised to look further than the "cluster" of accounts connected to the American election.

Damian Collins also said he believed there was increasing evidence of Russian interference in the referendum that led to Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Facebook said security experts would begin their investigation "promptly" but may take several weeks to produce results. "I look forward to seeing the results of this investigation, and I'm sure we will want to question Facebook about this when we know the outcome".

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Mr. Collins, a Conservative lawmaker who chairs a parliamentary committee on media and culture, said he welcomed Facebook's response after the company had previously resisted the committee's calls to deepen its investigation.

Facebook Inc. said Wednesday that it was broadening its investigation into whether Russian Federation attempted to meddle in the 2016 referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union, after its earlier probe found only a minimal amount of activity. "We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to establish whether or not there was coordinated activity similar to that which we found in the USA and will report back to you as soon as the work has been completed", his letter said.

"I$3 n limiting their investigation to just the Internet Research Agency, Facebook missed that it is only one troll farm which "has existed within a larger disinformation ecosystem in St. Petersburg, " including Glavset, an alleged successor of the Internet Research Agency, and the Federal News Agency, a reported propaganda "media farm, " according to Russian investigative journalists", the report authors write.

The social media giant will conduct further investigations into activity around the European Union referendum following a request by MPs. Brits ultimately voted by a margin of roughly 52-48 in favor of leaving the in 2019.

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