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Facebook users will soon be able to check if and when they followed Russia-sponsored accounts

  • It's another step — and so far, the most user-specific — in an effort to shed light on Russian meddling before and during the presidential election.
  • This is the first attempt to notify individual Facebook users that they were exposed to the content.
  • The portal will be live by the end of the year, Facebook said, and will show users which accounts sponsored by the Internet Research Agency — a known Russia-backed page — they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Photo by Bloomberg
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook users will soon be able to check if and when they followed Russia-sponsored accounts surrounding the 2016 presidential election, the company announced Wednesday.

It's another step — and so far, the most user-specific — in an effort to shed light on Russian meddling before and during the presidential election.

Russian accounts were found to have to steered discourse and cultural opinion on the social media platform and its sister platform, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Congress has since launched investigations into the Russian meddling.

Facebook, through members of Congress, has already made public some of the paid ads and so-called "organic content" distributed by Russian accounts. But this is the first attempt to notify individual Facebook users that they were exposed to the content.

"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election," the company said in a statement.

The portal will be live by the end of the year, Facebook said, and will show users which accounts sponsored by the Internet Research Agency — a known Russia-backed page — they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017.