Facebook investigating Russian influence over Brexit vote
- Credit: Archant
Bosses of Facebook in the UK have told a parliamentary inquiry into 'fake news' that it will expand its investigation into whether or not Russia tried to influence the Brexit vote using social media.
In a letter to Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, Facebook's head of policy in the UK, Simon Milner, said the social media giant would now search for 'clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum' which appear to have originated in Russia.
'It is right that companies like Facebook should initiate their own research into issues like this where there is such clear public concern, and not just act on intelligence that has been passed to them,' Mr Collins, who leads the committee's fake news inquiry, said in a statement. 'They are best placed to investigate activity on their platform.'
You may also want to watch:
Facebook said security experts would begin their investigation 'promptly' but may take several weeks to produce results.
- 1 Who's on the BBC's Question Time tonight?
- 2 MANDRAKE: Chilling news for Telegraph bosses
- 3 Tory minister's claim over free school meals funding gets quickly debunked
- 4 Minister self-isolates just a day after being spotted flouting mask rules
- 5 More approve of EU leadership than Boris Johnson's premiership, poll finds
- 6 Farage says he can dodge US travel ban because he's a 'journalist'
- 7 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 8 Viktor Orban has eyes on a Brexit opportunity
- 9 'Assorted caviar' and 'board games' - Gifts confiscated from Boris Johnson due to anti-corruption laws
- 10 Question Time: Tory minister told 'diverse' cabinet doesn't erase race issues in party
Mr Collins had previously slammed Facebook for doing 'no work' in looking for Russian interference on their platform during the 2016 referendum, after the company submitted evidence to the Electoral Commission in December of accounts which were active during the US Election.
In the letter, Mr Milner said Facebook believed those accounts, identified as part of Russia's 'Internet Research Agency' of trolls and propagandists, 'seemed to be the most likely area' to find evidence of meddling in the UK but added that the company would now look deeper into its records.
'I look forward to seeing the results of this investigation, and I'm sure we will want to question Facebook about this when we know the outcome,' said Mr Collins.
Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google are due to give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into fake news in February, when MPs visit Washington for the occasion.
MORE: MPs demand Facebook reveals evidence of meddling in Brexit referendumMORE: Who is hacking Brexit? MP Liam Byrne on why we need our own Robert Mueller inquiryMORE: Mike Hind - Battling the bots in the war of the web
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.