Facebook found itself at the center of several major controversies this year, perhaps none bigger than its role in spreading Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. That’s why the social media giant rolled out a new tool this month that lets users check to see if they’ve ever interacted with Russian agents.
In the immediate wake of the election, Facebook downplayed the severity of the problem. Then, as pressure continued from the public and lawmakers alike, Facebook was forced to admit that roughly 3,000 political ads had been purchased by Russian trolls, reaching approximately 140 million users.
While this tool is helpful, it only provides a list of accounts users may have interacted with and not individual pieces of content. And with how propaganda spreads virally, the feature is far from perfect. For instance, if a friend of yours liked a piece of Russian-produced content and it happened to pop up in your News Feed, this tool would not let you know you saw it.
This represents a step in the right direction for Facebook, but the damage caused by foreign interference can’t be undone — or even properly quantified. Still, if you want to see for yourself, click here.
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