Facebook Portal Will Allow Users to Find Out if They Interacted with Russian Propaganda Pages
Facebook has announced plans to offer users a portal which will allow them to see if they have interacted with any pages backed by the Internet Research Agency, which is linked to Russian propaganda efforts, anytime between January 2015 and August 2017. The portal will cover interactions that occurred on Facebook as well as Instagram. The plans for the portal come after Facebook came under fire by the media and Congress for their complacency in the spread of divisive Russian propaganda. The social media company has plans to release this portal by the end of the year.
The Russian propaganda pages in question were pages which preyed upon controversial issues in America such as 2nd amendment gun rights, LGBT issues, and racial issues, with the intention to deepen the divisions between different groups of Americans. These pages were extremely effective, so effective that at least one of these Russian-linked pages managed to organize offline rallies. In addition to creating Facebook pages, the Internet Research Agency also purchased approximately 3,000 similarly divisive advertisements around the time of election day. It is estimated that these ads were seen by around 10 million Facebook users.
Unfortunately, this portal will not be available to all Facebook and Instagram users. The portal will only be available to users who directly followed pages linked to the Internet Research Agency. This means that users who simply saw Russia-linked ads or posts will not have access to this portal. However, despite the portal’s limitations, many people see it as Facebook taking a step in the right direction.