British MPs ask Mark Zuckerberg to search for evidence of Russian meddling.
A British parliamentary committee has asked Mark Zuckerberg to search for evidence that Russia-linked Facebook accounts were used to interfere in the EU referendum and general election.
As part of the inquiry into ‘fake news’, Damian Collins — chair of parliament’s Digital, Media and Sport Committee — has written to the Facebook co-founder and CEO, requesting information on any paid-for activity by Russian sources.
“Part of this inquiry will focus on the role of foreign actors abusing platforms such as yours to interfere in the political discourse of other nations,” Collins wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg circulated to media by the committee.
According to Sky News, the Conservative MP asked Facebook to provide examples of all adverts bought by Russian-linked accounts, of all pages set up by Russian-linked accounts, information on the targeting of such adverts and pages and how many times they were viewed.
Mr Zuckerberg supplied similar evidence to the US government, after reports surfaced of possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“I believe that the information I have requested is in line with that already supplied by Facebook to several United States Senate Committees, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, in relation to the 2016 US presidential election,” wrote Mr Collins.
Facebook in the US disclosed last month that an influence operation that appeared to be based in Russia spent $100,000 (£75,000) on adverts to promote divisive political and social messages over a two-year period.
This month, Facebook found approximately 10 million people in the United States saw politically divisive ads on its network that were purchased in Russia in the months before and after the presidential election.
Russia has denied interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.