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Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Facebook cracks down on issue ads ahead of Zuckerberg's testimony

Facebook cracks down on issue ads ahead of Zuckerberg's testimony

Facebook added that this is how the feature functioned for its executives on Messenger, and that it could be how it will operate for the broader public. Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. "By not using the platform for a day, it's a virtual demonstration that is easy to do but will send a powerful message that we demand better", she said. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives' messages.

In the coming months, Facebook might bring either the message expiration timer into the direct chat feature or they would find a way to implement the "unsend" messages feature accordingly.

According to a report by Engadget, users have had received messages from CEO Zuckerberg previously, as early as 2010.

Facebook disclosed in September that Russians under fake names had used the social network to try to influence USA voters in the months before and after the 2016 election, writing about inflammatory subjects, setting up events and buying ads.

Zuckerberg said on Friday that he also wanted to shed more light on "issue ads", or ads that discuss a political subject but do not directly relate to an election or a candidacy. Facebook has already required political ads to verify who is paying for them and where the advertiser is located.

Facebook will also require the administrators of pages with a "large number" of followers to also be verified. Facebook is facing calls to separate the chairman and CEO roles, and some investors and observers want more oversight of Zuckerberg, the founder of the company, who has a controlling stake.

Moscow has denied the allegations.

The company disclosed in September that Russians using fake names had used the social network to try to influence United States voters in the months before and after the 2016 election.

That legislation is aimed at countering concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics, which is part of the investigation into possible Russian meddling during the 2016 United States presidential campaign.

The legislation would expand existing election law covering television and radio outlets to apply to paid internet and digital advertisements on platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc TWTR.N and Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google.

The legislation would also require online platforms to make "all reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign nationals and entities are not buying political ads to influence the USA electorate.

Facebook confessed to TechCrunch that they have been doing this for a while.

Reeling from its worst privacy crisis in history - allegations that Cambridge Analytica may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections - Facebook is in full damage-control mode, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging he's made a "huge mistake" in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook's responsibility is in the world.

Anyone wondering if their private Facebook data might have been swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal will soon get their first clues.

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