Published: Tue, September 26, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Facebook Now Tracks Users' Store Visits to Drive Ads

Facebook Now Tracks Users' Store Visits to Drive Ads

Sources briefed on the private exchange between the two say that while Zuckerberg agreed that fake news posed problems, he told Obama and this wasn't a widespread problem and that there wasn't an easy fix for it.

Buried in a Washington Post story out Sunday night is a surprising new development: Facebook's cybersecurity team told the Federal Bureau of Investigation in June 2016 that it believed the Russian hacking team APT 28, also known as "Fancy Bear" and believed to be a proxy for the Russian state security service GRU, was active on the platform. According to The Washington Post, Obama did not respond to a request for comment, while Facebook said it has come forward "at every opportunity" to disclose links to propaganda news items. "As long as it's on Facebook, and people can see it, as long as it's on social media, people start believing it, and it creates this dust cloud of nonsense".

Zuckerberg promised earlier this week that he and other executives at Facebook would be more transparent about ad sales as they try to minimize the site's role in influencing elections. Initially, Zuckerberg dismissed the notion as a "pretty insane idea".

Earlier this month, Facebook said an internal review had shown that an operation likely based in Russian Federation spent US$100,000 (RM419,000) on 3,000 Facebook ads promoting divisive messages in the months before and after the 2016 United States presidential election.

The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center said on September 21 that Facebook should have gone further and made the Russian ads available to everyone, "so that everyone can see the nature and extent of the use of Facebook accounts by Russia". In addition to disclosing which Facebook page paid for a particular ad, users will also be able to see the other ads that account is now running on the site.

Senator Warner plans to hold a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in October, at which the tech giants would testify, although a date has not been set nor have the Internet companies received invitations to testify, said Recode. Numerous ads attacked Hillary Clinton or praised Donald Trump. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations and denied any involvement in the DNC hack.

The suspect ads comprise a small slice of the roughly 3,000 ads that have become the subject of increasing scrutiny by the U.S. Congress as well as former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is leading the U.S. government's official probe into Russian interference during the 2016 election. Trump has referred to the ongoing Russian Federation probe as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax". Zuckerberg, who returned after taking parental leave after his second daughter was born, said in a post last week that he deeply cares about the democratic process and protecting its integrity. "Facebook's mission is all about giving people a voice and bringing people closer together. They're following us!" said Danny Garcia.

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