MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Facebook staff were debating on whether to include references to Russia in a public report on "false news" spread via the social network and eventually decided against it, so the white paper issued in April makes no mention of it, according to the Wall Street Journal newspaper.
Some people working in the company insisted that Russia should not be mentioned in the report on the attempt to influence the US presidential campaign in 2016 as Facebook had no proof of subversive activities, the WSJ reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the situation.
The April report said that "malicious actors" were involved in an attempt to compromise certain political targets and to push certain narratives, but stressed that it could not say with any certainty who was sponsoring these activities. Facebook said in April that it would add new technologies to weed out fake accounts and improve security.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was not behind the ads or even aware of them.
According to media reports, the US Senate Intelligence Committee has asked senior managers from Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in front of the US Congress at a public hearing scheduled for October as part of the probe into Russia's alleged attempts to use social media to influence the election. Russia has faced persistent allegations of having interfered in the 2016 US election, many of them suggesting that an information campaign took place on social media. Russian officials have denied meddling in other states' domestic affairs.