Facebook’s new portal will let you see if you have been a victim of Russian trolls

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Credit: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/11/continuing-transparency-on-russian-activity/

Last September Facebook in an official statement indicted Russia of influencing the 2016 US election won by President Donald Trump. To further clear your doubts and enforce its claims, the social media giant is launching a new portal where you can see if you have engaged with pages linked to Russian trolls.

The portal will not only serve as tool to find out if you have been a victim of some Russian trolls, it will also serve to prevent a repeat anytime in the future.

“As part of that continuing commitment, we will soon be creating a portal to enable people on Facebook to learn which of the Internet Research Agency Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts they may have liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017. This tool will be available for use by the end of the year in the Facebook Help Center,” Facebook said.

The tool is a part of ongoing effort to help users understand how foreign actors tried to divide voters by sowing seeds of mistrust before and after the last US election. Facebook said it has not withheld information from everyone as part of plans to prevent a reoccurrence.

When it first came out with its findings, the social media giant said it looked for ads that might have had its origin in Russia in the current review. The company tagged this as broad search—extending its search to ads bought from accounts having US IPs, but with different language set to Russian. Though, such accounts did not in any way violate the company’s policy or law. This part of the review, according to Alex Stamos Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, uncovered “approximately $50,000 in potentially politically related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads.”

Fake news and Russia were two dominant subjects before, during and after the last US presidential elections that ushered in President Trump. Facebook recently stepped up its fight against fake news. The company says it’s placing an embargo on fake news websites from buying its ads. Such companies or websites will no longer be able to promote disputed links through Facebook ads.

Facebook had announced back in August that it will send more potential fake news articles to fact checkers, and subsequently post the outcome of their findings below the original post.

The company said back then that it had already began testing the updated AI fact checking feature—and the feature was being launched in United States, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Soon after that an announcement and in matching words with action, the social media network started blocking fake news websites from promoting disputed links through its ads. Pages that often share fake stories will no longer be able to buy Facebook ads—and this of course, will have nothing to do with whether or not the ad includes a disputed link.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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