Zuckerberg admits Russians exploited Facebook during last year’s election (Source (Source Yahoo Finance)
No company likes to admit it made a mistake, and Facebook is feistier than most. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has essentially admitted that Russian interests exploited the social-media giant to interfere in last year’s US elections. Zuckerberg didn’t explicitly say Facebook screwed up. But in a short video broadcast on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon, he made indirect references to “what happened here,” vowing that “we can do more” and saying “we are in a new world. It’s a new challenge for internet companies having to deal with nation-states trying to interfere with elections.” The full extent of Russia’s involvement in last year’s elections still isn’t fully known, which is one reason special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating. But Russian interests, among other things, purchased ads on Facebook that generally praised Donald Trump—the Kremlin’s preferred candidate—while deriding his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In general, it’s illegal for foreign interests to run ads in the United States on behalf of political candidates. Russian operatives also appear to have created millions of fake accounts on both Facebook and Twitter, meant to fill social media with pro-Trump propaganda. That’s not necessarily illegal, but it does tarnish the trustworthiness of the two platforms and raise questions about whether they are tacit contributors in the possible tilting of an election.