Facebook executive on election interference: 'Sometimes bad things happen'

Marco Green
October 19, 2017

You've no doubt seen the headlines.

Facebook and other major internet companies including Alphabet Inc's Google and Twitter Inc have faced a stream of recent revelations about how Moscow sought to use their platforms to sow discord in the United States and influence the election in favor of the Republican White House candidate, Donald Trump.

"How Russia used social media to divide Americans" explained the Guardian.

Immediately following the 2016 election, Facebook executives dismissed the idea that Facebook could have had an effect on the election. "Shouldn't We?" asked the New York Times. The company has long emphasized that its network reflected society as a whole; this year, its optimism dimmed somewhat following the network's apparent misuse by Russian operatives, who ran Facebook ads that amplified social and political messages to sway voters' opinions.

"My understanding is that it's a very small number", Marcus said at The Wall Street Journal's D.Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif.

That's a shame, Marcus said, because it does so much good, too. "So people have to message you". "The impact that Facebook has on the world is overshadowed by all this narrative", said Marcus. Facebook has already confirmed that it's participating in ongoing investigations with special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia's meddling with United States elections.

'When you are a page, for instance, you can not message people. He says it's a priority of the company to "make sure that we build systems to prevent what happened from happening again".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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