Facebook ' fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says Congress should 'absolutely' release Russia adverts

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"We know that we have a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent this kind of abuse", she added.

U.S. lawmakers have said they planned to release the ads placed on Facebook once any personal information on users is removed.

A member of Congress who viewed about 70 of the roughly 3,000 ads said that they were meant to stir up strong emotions on all sides.

Later Thursday, Sandberg is set to meet with Congressional investigators who are looking into what role the advertisements which began running in 2015 and continued through this year may have played in the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg and others from Facebook were asked to appear before congressional panels earlier this week to provide the information.

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She and two other Facebook executives, Erin Egan and Elliot Schrage, also met privately with Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat and member of the House intelligence committee. If the company accepts that it is a media firm, it would open the platform up to regulatory rules in the U.S. and other countries which Facebook would rather avoid.

Sandberg said the company is "working on transparency" following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting "divisive" causes like Black Lives Matter.

In addition, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting a criminal probe, including whether President Trump's campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the election season. Trump has denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and associates and Russian Federation.

Sandberg acknowledged that "things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened, especially foreign interference".

"It's not just that we apologize". While the company prohibits certain content such as hate speech, it does not want to prevent free expression, she said.

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Sandberg said Facebook would provide additional material to investigators as needed to determine the level of foreign interference in the USA election.

She said the company had been too permissive at times in terms of how advertisers were allowed to target users.

Sandberg didn't say whether she believes Facebook played a role in electing Donald Trump as president, as critics have said it did by allowing the spread of fake news on its service.

"In that ad, there are a lot of things that people don't like, that I don't like".

Sandberg said Facebook wanted other internet companies to work toward making ad purchases more transparent, and she said Facebook was talking with lawmakers who want to introduce legislation on the issue.

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