Courthouse News: Russian Ad Scheme Prompts Policy Shift at Facebook


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is actively working with Congress to disclose 3,000 Russian-bought advertisements that circulated on the social media site during the 2016 election.

Though previously willing to provide only sample ads that ran on the social-media site during the campaign, pressure from Congress and political watchdogs sparked Zuckerberg to announce the shift Thursday via Facebook Live.


Legal watchdogs, like the Campaign Legal Center, were among some of the first groups to ramp up pressure on Zuckerberg, demanding that Facebook turn over any findings on the ads to Congress.  

In a letter sent to Zuckerberg on Sept. 12, Campaign Legal Center President Travis Potter, who is also the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, was cautious over the prospect of Facebook’s willingness to cooperate.


Brendan Fischer, staff attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, welcomed the move.

“We still believe that Facebook should make the content of the Russian-purchased ads public so that the American people can understand the nature of the foreign influence effort,” Fischer said 

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