SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg announced this past Thursday in a video press release that his company, Facebook, has been actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference. In response to allegations of Russian voter collusion, Zuckerberg says Facebook has been investigating this for many months now and “for a while we have found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads”.
“When we recently uncovered this activity we provided that information to the special counsel” Zuckerberg said in the video. “We also briefed Congress and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well.”
Zuckerberg did say that as a general rule his company is going to be limited in what they can discuss publicly about ongoing law enforcement investigation. “… we may not always be able to share all of our findings publicly. But we support Congress on how to best use this information to inform the public and we expect the government to publish its findings when their investigation is completed” he said.
“Going forward and maybe the most important step were taking is we’re going to make political advertising more transparent and when someone buys political ads on TV or other media they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency.
Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad but we will also make it so you can visit an advertisers page and see the ads that they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook. We will roll this out over the coming months and we will work with others to create a new standard for transparency and online political ads.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’re going to catch all bad content in our system. We don’t check what people say before they say it and frankly, I don’t think society should want us to. Freedome means you don’t have to ask for permission first and that by default you can say what you want. If you break our community standards are you break the law, you’re going to to face consequences afterwards.
We won’t catch everyone immediately but we can make it harder to try to interfere.”