Photo Credit: Getty Images
Facebook will reveal to users which Russian propaganda pages or accounts they’ve followed and liked on the social media platform. This follows a request from Congress to address manipulation and possible meddling during the 2016 presidential election by Russia.
The company announced in a blog post that the tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook’s online support center.
It will reportedly answer the question, “How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?” That’s the Russian firm that was behind hundreds of posts from fake accounts pretending to be United States citizens.
People will be able to see a list of the accounts they followed, if any, from January 2015 through August 2017. There could be up to 290 Facebook and Instagram pages created by Russian actors, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” the company said in the post. “That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.”
Facebook’s disclosures, however, will only reach some of the 120 million users who saw the posts, the company said. A Facebook spokesman said it is too difficult to reach all affected users, because the tool “can’t reliably identify who came across the content.”
According to the Daily Beast, the postings from the Internet Research Agency reached an estimated 150 million people during the 2016 presidential election with the intention of creating added controversy regarding issues like gun rights, immigration, race relations, and religion.
Facebook’s newest tool follows Google announcing it would “de-rank” Russia Today and Sputnik from its search results to prevent the further spreading of fake news around the election.