Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke Thursday in an interview with Axios about the company’s internal investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, and what the company plans to share with lawmakers.
Sandberg said Facebook has shared info privately with lawmakers about who Russia was targeting with its Facebook ad campaign, and that she expects that info to become public soon.
Crucially, though, the Facebook exec dodged one of the most pressing questions facing her company: Whether there’s any overlap in the way Russian agents targeted users on the site with the Donald Trump campaign’s own ad operation.
Asked a first time, Sandberg merely said that “targeting on Facebook is broad; it’s used by everyone.” After a second attempt, Sandberg replied that “targeting is something everyone uses.” Later, though, Sandberg teased more information to come. “When the ads get released, we will also be releasing the targeting for those ads.”
Here are a few other takeaways from the interview.
Facebook first heard about Russian meddling around election time. “We started to hear the rumors — and this was around the election itself [of people] posting in an inauthentic way to try to be deceptive and divisive,” Sandberg said. “As early as we heard any rumors we started our investigation.” Facebook didn’t share anything publicly about the investigation until April, when it published a report confirming “malicious actors” had indeed spread misinformation on the platform during the election. At the time, though, Facebook did not directly name Russia — but…
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