Facebook widens probe into alleged Russian meddling in Brexit

Some have claimed Russia used the social network to influence the EU referendum

Some have claimed Russia used the social network to influence the EU referendum

Yesterday its United Kingdom policy director Simon Milner wrote to a parliamentary committee that's been conducting a wide-ranging enquiry into fake news - and whose chair has been witheringly critical of Facebook and Twitter for failing to co-operate with requests for information and assistance on the topic of Brexit and Russian Federation - saying it will widen its investigation, per the committee's request.

"We have considered your request and can confirm that our investigatory team is now looking to see if we can identify other similar clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum that was not identified previously", Mr. Milner wrote.

Facebook expands its investigation into possible Russian intervention in Brexit referendum after pressure from British authorities, who have been dissatisfied with a previous version of the study.

The London-based Russian Embassy took the opportunity to cite history's most famous scientist Albert Einstein, quoting him to illustrate to the public the absurdity of a re-investigation.


But Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, criticised Facebook for doing "no work" on its initial investigation.

Facebook's new search in Britain will require the company's security experts to go back and analyze historical data. Its analysis, though, involved only accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, a suspected Russian propaganda service.

The committee is conducting an inquiry into fake news and misinformation. Facebook told USA lawmakers previous year that it had found 3,000 ads bought by suspected Russian agents posing as Americans and seeking to spread divisive messages in the United States about race, immigration and other political topics.

Mr Collins said the company had only studied interference by one organisation, the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency, that Facebook had previously fingered as being responsible for meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. "I look forward to seeing the results of this investigation, and I'm sure we will want to question Facebook about this when we know the outcome".

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