Sep 21, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Facebook gives Congress the Russia ads

"Facebook will give congressional investigators access to the more than 3,000 ads bought by Russian operatives during the campaign," Axios' David McCabe and Sara Fischer report, "reversing a previous decision that had drawn criticism. It also said it would increase transparency around political ad spending in a move that gets ahead of any new disclosure rules lawmakers could try to impose on digital campaign ad spending."

What Facebook isn't doing: Releasing this information to the public, citing "sensitive national security and privacy issues" involved in the investigation.

Key Zuckerberg quote on Facebook Live (pic below): "I don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy... Now, I wish I could tell you that we're going to be able to stop all interference. But that just wouldn't be realistic."

Thought bubbles:

  • From David: "Facebook once again playing catch-up on a scandal. It's not unlike the aftermath of the 2016 allegations that curators for the social network's trending topics section may have buried conservative-leaning stories. That ended with Zuckerberg quelling the fears of a group of influential conservatives at the company's California headquarters. That settled things then, but it seems unlikely that this is the last time Facebook has to speak out about Russia's influence on the 2016 election..."
  • From Sara: "Facebook still continues to grow its dominance within the U.S. digital ad market. Just this morning, eMarketer increased its prediction that Facebook would take 19.7% of all U.S. digital ad revenue this year to 20.9%."

Go deeper: Dive on in...

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Mike Allen