20°C / 22°C
  • Sat
  • 13°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 11°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 12°C
  • 5°C
  • Tue
  • 12°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 12°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 28°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 30°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 13°C
  • 2°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 2°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 1°C
  • Sat
  • 13°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 28°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 4°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 13°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 17°C
  • 7°C

Facebook to let users see if they 'liked' Russian accounts

Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc are facing a backlash after saying Russians used their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans.

FILE: The Facebook app on a smartphone. Picture: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it would build a web page to allow users to see which Russian propaganda accounts they have liked or followed, after US lawmakers demanded that the social network be more open about the reach of the accounts.

US lawmakers called the announcement a positive step. The web page, though, would fall short of their demands that Facebook individually notify users about Russian propaganda posts or ads they were exposed to.

Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc are facing a backlash after saying Russians used their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 US elections.

US lawmakers have criticised the tech firms for not doing more to detect the alleged election meddling, which the Russian government denies involvement in.

Facebook says the propaganda came from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organisation that according to lawmakers and researchers employs hundreds of people to push pro-Kremlin content under phoney social media accounts.

As many as 126 million people could have been served posts on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram, the company says. Facebook has since deactivated the accounts.

Facebook, in a statement, said it would let people see which pages or accounts they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017 that were affiliated with the Internet Research Agency.

The tool will be available by the end of the year as “part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy,” Facebook said.

The web page will show only a list of accounts, not the posts or ads affiliated with them, according to a mock-up. US lawmakers have separately published some posts.

It was not clear if Facebook would eventually do more, such as sending individualized notifications to users.

Lawmakers at congressional hearings this month suggested that Facebook might have an obligation to notify people who accessed deceptive foreign government material.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who had asked for notifications, said Facebook’s plan “seems to be a serious response” to his request.

“My hope is that it will be a responsible first step towards protecting against future assaults on its platform,” he said in a statement.

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat, called it a “very positive step” and said lawmakers look forward to additional steps by tech companies to improve transparency.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus