Sheryl Sandberg on Thursday confirmed reports that the House Intelligence Committee will be publicizing thousands of Facebook ads linked to Russia that appeared during the 2016 election.
In an interview with Axios co-founder Mike Allen, the Facebook (FB) COO said she “absolutely” supports handing over ads linked to Russian “bad actors” that interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
“We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms . . . and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them,” she said.
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In addition to the ads, Facebook will be handing over the pages they link to and supporting targeting data to Congress, Sandberg told Allen. “We’ll do everything we can to defeat them,” she said.
The Lean In author noted, however, that had the ads been posted by legitimate accounts, they would have been allowed to remain on the site.
Moreover, Sandberg said she disagreed with Twitter’s initial decision to take down Congressional candidate Marsha Blackburn’s campaign ad because it included “an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” Sandberg told Axios: “When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for other people.” Twitter has since reversed its stance and reinstated Blackburn’s ad.