Facebook sharing 3,000 Russian ads with US Congress

San Francisco: Facing an intense scrutiny over the presence of Russian ads on its platform during the 2016 American presidential election, Facebook will finally hand over nearly 3,000 Russian political ads to US Congress on Monday.

According to a ReCode report, along with the Russian ads, Facebook plans to share information about the users those ads targeted and how they were paid for with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"All three committees are investigating the extent to which Russia may have interfered in last fall's US presidential election," the report added.

Facebook is facing a probe after disclosing the details about the presence of Russian political ads worth $100,000.

After an extensive legal and policy review, the social media giant recently announced that it would share 3,000 Russian ads with Congressional investigators.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been invited to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee on November 1 over the Russian probe.

Facebook earlier handed over the details to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is currently investigating claims of alleged Russian meddling in the election, included copies of the ads and details about the accounts that bought them and the targeting criteria they used.

As the probe into Moscow's alleged meddling in the election intensifies, Twitter also announced that it has deleted over 200 fake Russian accounts and identified Russia Today of buying bought ads targeted at American users' accounts.

In a closed-door meeting last week, Colin Crowell, Twitter's Vice President for Public Policy, met with staff from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the issue.

Twitter also shared with committee staff ads that three Russia Today accounts targeted to the US market in 2016.

"Based on our findings thus far, RT spent $274,100 in US ads in 2016. In that year, the three RT accounts promoted 1,823 tweets that definitely or potentially targeted the US market," Twitter said.

Google has also launched a probe into the role its services could have played in the Russian interference.

"Google is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters ahead of the US election," media reports said last week.

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