Facebook COO won't reveal details of company's Russian Federation probe

Screen Shot 2017 10 05

Allen repeatedly asked Sandberg when the social network found out about the ads - and Sandberg eventually said the company had heard about the ads around the time of the United States election.

Silicon Valley's tech giants have come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers amid revelations that they may have helped last year's presidential election.

Wednesday's meetings are ahead of a November 1 House Intelligence Committee hearing at which Facebook, Twitter and Google are expected to testify.

The committee, one of the main congressional panels investigating allegations of Russian meddling, recently received more than 3,000 politically divisive ads believed to have been purchased by Russia.

In addition to the ads, Facebook will be handing over the pages they link to and supporting targeting data to Congress, Sandberg told Allen.

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The interview with Sandberg came during a multi-day visit to Washington that included meetings with U.S. lawmakers.

According to sources at Google, the ads on its various platforms, which include Gmail, YouTube and its Double Click ad network, were not purchased by the same Russian entity that bought the ads on Facebook. Russian Federation apparently took advantage of controversies surrounding Hillary Clinton [the email scandal that rocked her campaign], and further dug in with the said ads bought from some Silicon Valley giants. Trump has denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and associates and Russian Federation.

Asked if Facebook owed Americans an apology, Sandberg told Axios that the company is "determined" to defeat any foreign threats, "because our values are worth defending". Sandberg instead opted to say that whenever the platform was misused, "we're angry, we're upset".

"We don't check the information posted on Facebook before people post it, and I don't think people should want us to", she said.

The group will focus its dialogue with Sandberg on Facebook's "diversity tone-deafness", including why the company has no black members of its board of directors, why Facebook allowed communities of to be targeted with its advertising products and who is being held accountable to make sure that such ads don't appear on Facebook in the future.

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"The thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression", Sandberg said.

Twitter took down the video, saying a remark Blackburn made about opposing abortion was inflammatory, but later recanted. Twitter later reversed its decision.

She defined fake news as "things that are false hoaxes" and said Facebook is working to stamp out the bad information by teaming up with third-party fact checkers and warning users before they share news deemed fake by Facebook.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is also holding an open hearing with the three companies that day.

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