Facebook: No Evidence Russia Interfered in Brexit Vote

Facebook has told British MPs it has found no new evidence of adverts from Russian-linked accounts targeting voters in the Brexit campaign, Bloomberg reports.

After it was asked by lawmakers to probe into the matter more deeply, the company used the same method that uncovered Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election activities and found no comparable Brexit campaign, Simon Milner, Facebook’s director of UK policy, wrote in a letter to MPs Wednesday.

“The investigation team found no additional coordinated Russian linked accounts or pages delivering ads to the UK regarding the EU referendum during the relevant period, beyond the minimal activity we previously disclosed. These findings are in contrast with the results of our investigation into organized Russian activities targeting the U.S., which we have reported on in detail to Congress and publicly,” Milner said in the letter.

The move comes after the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports Committee held special hearings with social media firms in Washington DC in early February.

“Although we welcome Facebook’s continued cooperation with our investigation with this letter today, there are still several outstanding pieces of information that they promised to the committee when they gave evidence to us in Washington D.C. on February 8.

“I look forward to them sharing with us, amongst other information: the exact number of accounts that they have suspended; how they are resourcing their fight against bots; their methodology of how they identify fake accounts; and how they determine what country those accounts come from,” Committee chairman Damian Collins said.

Two Facebook executives who were testifying in the February hearing insisted the company used broader signals to search for accounts engaged in meddling.

The UK lawmakers suggested at the hearing that problems on social media, including interference with democracies and fake news, stem from lack of regulation and advertising-dependent business models that reward click-bait and inflammatory material.