Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

The company on Friday announced it's creating a tool that will let people see what content they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017 from the Internet Research Agency, the troll farm linked to the Kremlin.

The tool is an attempt to fend of accusations that it is being secretive about the reach of fake Russian accounts, and that people are still unaware of what they have seen.

The Internet Research Agency, which is based in St. Petersburg, allegedly used social media as part of a wider Russian plot to sow divisions within the US ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

During a quarterly earnings call with analysts this month, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg addressed criticism over allowing disinformation and manipulation during the USA presidential election, just hours after the company's top lawyer faced a grilling at a Washington congressional hearing.

"This tool will be available for use by the end of the year in the Facebook Help Center", Facebook continued.

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Facebook's new tool will be limited in its functionality, only showing you whether you've liked or followed the accounts in question, meaning that you won't be able to discern whether you actually saw or shared posts from those pages unless you manually figured it out from memory.

In addition to creating the bogus accounts, which were designed to spread misinformation and influence United States voters, Facebook said the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency spent $100,000 on over 3000 ads displayed around the time of the election.

Providing a list of all the individual Russian interference posts a user saw or interacted with could be more useful.

Lawmakers at congressional hearings this month suggested that Facebook might have an obligation to notify people who accessed deceptive foreign government material. Additional steps are required from these tech giants to improve transparency with respect to Russian abuse of their platforms.

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