Facebook, the largest social network of the world, claimed last week that an operation probably located in Russian Federation had positioned millions of US ads with polarizing opinions on subjects such as race, immigration, and gay rights on the website during a 2-year time frame through May 2017. "It's a continuing process in which we're looking for this activity", the spokesperson said.
According to a September 6 post by Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, more than $100,000 worth of ads dealing with divisive issues like LGBT rights, race, immigration, and gun rights were purchased on the platform.
Some of these ads and other content on Facebook appear to sow division in America and other countries at a time of increasing social unrest.
The move comes almost one month after Facebook representatives informed lawmakers about the ads, and a week-and-a-half after CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to hand over them over amid mounting pressure from Democratic Senators.
"What Facebook has found thus far have been ads that were funded by money that could be directly tracked back to Russian Federation", said Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, Monday.
Two weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an overhaul to the rules around political ad spending and said the company would add 250 employees to work on election integrity.
Additionally, Facebook said Monday it provided information on about 3,000 relevant ads to congressional investigators.
"That means that for most of (the ads), if they had been run by authentic individuals, anywhere, they could have remained on the platform", Schrage said.
The Menlo Park, California-based company said that apart from hiring more people, they are also working on recognizing the patterns that trigger the potential meddling, and send such ads to the human moderators.
In a meeting with House and Senate investigators last week, Twitter executives shared more than 1,800 promoted tweets from Russia Today, known as RT, and its three main accounts on the site. Like many social networks, Twitter's service is global in nature, so any attempt to battle back sources or ideas - even those that frustrate USA users and regulators alike - could be seen as censorship here or elsewhere.
A spokesperson for the company said its internal investigation is not finished. Mark Warner and California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence panels - have said they believe the American public should see them.
Facebook has admitted it sold $100,000 of political adverts, designed to create divisions, to fake accounts likely operated from Russian Federation.
Asked about Facebook giving Congress permission to release the ads, Burr said, "If they give us permission then they should release it themselves".
Though Twitter disclosed last week that the company found over 200 Russian accounts linked to propaganda pages.