UK presses Facebook for any evidence of Russia-linked Brexit ads

Social media giant has 32m users in Britain

Calls are increasing in Britain for more information on the role of online advertising in the EU referendum where 52 per cent voters opted to leave the bloc. A British parliamentary committee has now written to social media giant Facebook to release information on any Russian-linked activity around the referendum and recent election.

The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that it is seeking details of ads and pages set up by Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 referendum and 2017 election campaign, along with information about their costing, targeting and reach.

Damian Collins, the chair of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, has written to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg after suspicions that Russian “actors” used the platform to interfere in British politics.

The committee’s inquiry aims to explore the impact of fake news.The social media giant has 32m users in Britain alone.

Collins has also stated that the requested information is in line with that supplied by Facebook to the US Senate committees investigating the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook has confirmed receiving the letter today and stated that it “will respond once we have had the opportunity to review the request.”

The tech company had disclosed last month how it had found ads linked to fake accounts, likely run from Russia, influencing the US election. These ads have now been handed to three congressional committees probing into Russian meddling in the election.

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