Facebook will show users what Russian propaganda they liked or followed

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Facebook Inc. announced today that it will release a new tool that will allow users to see if any of the pages they have liked or followed were secretly created by the Internet Research Agency, an organization backed by the Russian government as part of a misinformation campaign to influence USA elections.

The social media giant Facebook is working on a tool to let users know if they "liked" any of the accounts allegedly pushing Russian propaganda.

"It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 United States election", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "It's why we build tools and provide education that put people in control of their privacy, and why we continually engage with policymakers about the best ways to protect people, create jobs, build community and promote innovation". Numerous fake accounts found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were controlled by the Agency, spreading erroneous information.

Now that Facebook has acquiesced to the demands of US Congress and handed over its data, the company is focussing on helping those who were tricked by Russian propaganda in the first place.

The Internet Research Agency is a Russia-based firm known for trying to influence public thought on behalf of the Russian government. That's important because paid reach and reshared posts by other users are how numerous 146 million Facebook and Instagram users encountered election interference content.

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff called the Wednesday move a "very positive step", but said that more is needed.

More news: Things to Know: LaVar Ball talks about Trump's help on CNN

Both Facebook and its rival Twitter have since deleted the Russia-linked accounts.

Above: Facebook will set up a portal for users to find out if a Page or Instagram account they follow was created by Russian actors.

The problem is that there are several different ways users could have seen Russian propaganda on Facebook.

News of Facebook's new portal comes weeks after Twitter announced the launch of its "Advertising Transparency Center", where users can see how they are being targeted.

As many as 126 million people could have been served posts on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram, the company says.

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