Facebook subtly neither confirms nor denies Russian meddling during Brexit
Russia, still being investigated for meddling in the U.S. presidential election, is now under fire for its actions during the UK’s Brexit vote.
On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported about the possibility of Russian-backed ads influencing the June 2016 vote for the UK to withdraw from the European Union, also known as Brexit.
Afterwards, in a policy speech, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of messing with the democratic process.
“It is seeking to weaponize information,” she said about the country’s tactics. “We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.”
Facebook previously said there was no evidence of Russian interference on its platform during Brexit. Now it seems to be changing its tune. Instead of flat-out denying there were any Russian-linked ads or posts, it told BuzzFeed that it had not observed “significant co-ordination.”
“To date, we have not observed that the known, coordinated clusters in Russia engaged in significant coordination of ad buys or political misinformation targeting the Brexit vote,” the company said.
That means there’s still a possibility that Facebook was used at least somewhat to influence the Brexit vote with posts or ads. Mashable reached out to Facebook for more information, but the company did not reply.
More than 130 of the tweets about Brexit sent around the time of the referendum vote were sent from Russian-linked accounts, according to Wired.
Of course, we can’t forget the huge investigation into the role of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Now it looks like the problem extends across the pond.