UK MPs demand info on Russia election and Brexit meddling from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

 
Lynsey Barber
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UK politicians want answers from Facebook over Russia-linked ads (Source: Getty)

MPs have demanded answers from Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on the extent of Russian-linked adverts on the social media site during UK elections and the Brexit vote and their influence.

The chair of the digital, culture, media and sport committee Damian Collins has asked the billionaire tech entrepreneur to provide examples of adverts purchased by accounts linked to Russia, how much such ads cost and how many views they got, among other things.

The request comes as the group of MPs investigates the effect of fake news on politics and as US lawmakers investigate the extent of Russia's influence on the election of Donald Trump as President last year.

Here's his letter in full:

Dear Mark

I am writing to you to request information regarding the use of Facebook advertising and pages by Russian-linked accounts in the lead up to, and during, the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union and the 2017 British General Election.

As you may be aware, the House of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is currently undertaking an inquiry into the phenomenon of fake news, Part of this inquiry will focus on the role of foreign actors abusing platforms such as yours to interfere in the political discourse of other nations. It is for this reason that I am requesting that Facebook provides to my committee details relating to any adverts and pages paid for, or set up by, Russian-linked accounts.

We would politely request the following:

  • Examples of all adverts purchased by Russian-linked accounts
  • Examples of all pages set up by Russian-linked accounts
  • Information regarding the targeting of these adverts and pages
  • How much money was paid for these adverts or to promote these pages
  • How many times these adverts were viewed
  • How many times these pages were viewed

I believe that the information that I have requested is in line with that already supplied by Facebook to several United Stated Senate Committees,m including the Senate Intelligence Committee, in relation to the 2016 US Presidential election.

I look forward to your response, and receiving the information that I have requested.

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