Economy

Facebook Chief Defends Pro-Life Congresswoman's Free Speech After Twitter Censors Her Ads

Facebook Chief Defends Pro-Life Congresswoman's Free Speech After Twitter Censors Her Ads”

Sandberg emphasized that "when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people", adding that Facebook would've allowed the ads. Facebook has also declined to make the ads public.

Sheryl Sandberg [pictured here, inset], Facebook's chief operating officer, told lawmakers behind closed doors that the company is working hard to ensure Americans "understand what the propaganda is that they may or may not be reading", said House Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, who is leading the House intelligence committee probe.

The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts - likely run from Russian Federation - that sought to influence the election.

Twitter announced Tuesday that they would allow Blackburn's ad saying, "While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues". The ads included promoted events and amplified posts that show up in users' news feeds.

The action means that Facebook may be able to help explain to Congress which groups of people and geographic areas were the targets of the Russian ads, and who precisely paid for them. Russia-linked ads targeted all three states, as well as others, according to a CNN report. She appeared to sidestep the questions and said only that targeting on Facebook was often very broad.

The accounts created to fund the ads and the ads themselves have now been removed, however.

"You and I as voters are responsible for where we get information and how we trust it, and whether we trust it", Conaway said.

Sandberg, in a live-streamed conversation with Mike Allen, the executive editor of Axios, at the Newseum in Washington, was pointedly asked if there was an overlap between Trump's campaign and the Russian Federation accounts. Before her time at Google and later Facebook, she worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton. "But what we really owe the American people is determination to do a better job of preventing foreign meddling", she said.

"Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened, especially troubling foreign interference in a democratic election", she said.

Congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russian interference in the election, including whether there was any collusion between Trump associates and Moscow.

In a letter to Facebook last month, Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly of IL, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and asked him to do more to strengthen controls against discriminatory ads.

Later Thursday, Sandberg met privately with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, where she was pressed on what the company is doing in response to its discovery that numerous ads pushed by Russian-linked accounts were aimed at sowing racial discord. "In that ad, there's a lot of positions that people don't like, that I don't like".



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