After taking a pounding for its role in letting Russian bad actors gain influence on social media during the US presidential election, Facebook said it will offer a tool that will let users view the pages and ads created by a Russian troll farm operating under the moniker Internet Research Agency.
“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” according to a company statement. “That's why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly, and have provided it to congressional investigators.”
Rocked by accusations that it helped a Russian propaganda campaign designed to sow division in the US and influence the US election, Facebook attempted to make amends making good on a promise by CEO Mark Zuckerberg by unveiling changes to its advertising platform to boost transparency and authenticity.
“We're going to make advertising more transparent, and not just for political ads,” Facebook Vice President of Ads Rob Goldman wrote in a blog post at the time, noting that transparency is critical to democracy.
The new tool, which will be included in the company's Help Centre, will be available by year's end and give users a peek at the pages and Instagram accounts that they perused between January 2015 and August 2017.