Facebook is expanding its investigation into Russian influence on Brexit

Who is to blame?
Who is to blame?
Image: Reuters/Hannah McKay
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After UK lawmakers were unimpressed with the results of Facebook’s investigation into Russian influence into the country’s Brexit referendum campaign, the company said it would broaden its probe.

In a letter to a parliamentary committee, Facebook said it had initially focused its investigation on a cluster of accounts identified as being run by the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin propaganda organization. The company discovered the accounts when looking into Russian meddling in the US election.

The influence they found was minimal, the company said in December: Russian operatives spent less than $1 on advertisements related to Brexit.

But Damian Collins, chair of the parliamentary committee looking into the issue, blasted Facebook (as well as Twitter) for doing “no work” as part of the investigation.

In its new letter, Facebook conceded that it could look at other clusters of accounts that had not previously been identified. The company stipulated that the probe might take “a number of weeks.”

“We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to establish whether or not there was coordinated activity similar to that which was found in the US and will report back to you as soon as the work has been completed.”

Here’s the full letter: