Oct 11, 2017, 10:17 PM ET

Sheryl Sandberg meeting with lawmakers investigating Russia-linked Facebook ads

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Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, met with top lawmakers investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election at the Capitol Wednesday, after which the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said they would release some of the thousands of Russian-linked Facebook ads that had been turned over to Congress.

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Sandberg's meeting with Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Mike Conaway, R-Texas, came as congressional investigators reviewed thousands of the social media ads linked to Russia that sought to sow division among U.S. voters ahead of the election.

Speaking after their meeting, Schiff and Conaway told reporters they hope to release the ads soon.

"We’ve asked for Facebook’s help to help scrub any personally identifiable information, but it’s our hope that when they conclude, then we can release them publicly," said Schiff.

Facebook plans to work with with the committee to address any privacy concerns before the panel releases the ads. Some of the ads, for example, include re-purposed photos of people are not aware they were used in Russian ads.

Facebook turned over the ads and related data to congressional investigators and the special counsel's office. The social media giant, along with Twitter and Alphabet (Google's parent company), has been invited to testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about Russian efforts to impact the election using social media on Nov. 1.

"We believe the three companies will be represented that will be meaningful to this conversation," Conaway told reporters.

Asked about their meeting Wednesday, Conaway said Facebook is "looking for every solution they can" to help American voters determine "what the propaganda is" on the company's site.

Sandberg also met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday. On Thursday, she will meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus regarding race-related Facebook ads that were linked to Russia, according to a caucus aide.

Those ads, which were also turned over to congressional investigators, were aimed at inflaming racial tensions, according to a source who has reviewed the advertisements.

A representative for Facebook declined a request for comment.

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  • STJ581

    I wonder how many Russians have posted here?

  • James McDowell

    Russia spent "TENS OF THOUSANDS"...????...Is this a joke??..... If something THIS cheap was all that effective, BOTH (all) political parties would have put it to use instead of their spending the millions and millions of $'s and even going into debt.........

  • Lifeishortgetaladder.

    Fb has 2 BIllion users/accounts.. a couple thousand users is nothing. $100.000K is nothing.. in the eyes of a campaign mission, or a Billionaire like Zuck.
    And if JUST IF. think, that a few K social media accounts spewing hate and nonsense and fake news., and 100,000 in ads,. WON the American election,... Next cycle,,, I'm president. I'll hire half you hate filled disqus users and we'll take this election in a storm!

  • joedokes

    'Shocked and appalled' as in Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers, Juanita Broderick, Monica Lewinsky? Ruled out the 'vast, right-wing conspiracy' already, has she?

  • Arlene Doyle

    how do you like that the democrats are looking for collusion with the Russians and all the time it was face book and mark zuckerburg at the cost of $100,000.

  • realitycheck

    Facebook and Google can only blame themselves, people all over the USA were literally reporting fake ads around the clock, yet both companies did nothing, investigators should ask Facebook how many complains they got and why they did nothing about it. Both google and Facebook knew these ads were fake, It is time we start doing what the EU has done time over, slamming these companies with hundreds of millions of dollars in fine for this kind of irresponsible behavior.

  • Dan Jefferies

    I thought they meant actual Russians.....

  • CO

    Cheryl is having to lean in on this one.

  • 40words

    This should never be allowed to happen again.

  • Your Worst Nightmare

    The ads were bad enough but what was probably more effective are all the fake people that Russian added to Facebook. These fakes then proceeded to plant all types of disinformation which of course gullible Trumpers were more than happy to spread to their equally clueless friend and relatives

  • paddyk

    Are Russian ads not legal?

  • WhosVoice

    "issue of collusion" still open.
    Bookings Institute "Trump Obstructed Justice & should be Impeached"
    Page takes the 5th
    Manafort to be indited
    Flynn to be indited, unless he flips.
    Not looking good for Trump. How long before he fires Mueller in desperation?.