Facebook on Russian Election Ads: 'We Don't Want This Kind of Foreign Interference'

Sheryl Sandberg says in an interview with Axios that Facebook is committed to helping investigation into Russian interference: 'Things happened on our platform in this election that shouldn't have happened'

File photo: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a plenary session in the Congress Hall during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017.
Laurent Gillieron/AP

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Thursday that the company was fully committed to helping U.S. congressional investigators publicly release Russia-backed political ads that ran during the 2016 U.S. election. 

Sandberg said during an interview with the Axios news website that "things happened on our platform in this election that shouldn't have happened."

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Facebook recently gave congressional panels investigating allegations of Russian meddling during the election more than 3,000 politically divisive ads believed to have been bought by Russia. The social media company found them on its network and said the ads appeared in the months before and after the election. 

Sandberg said she was supportive of those ads being released in addition to the pages they were connected to. "We don't want this kind of foreign interference" on Facebook, Sandberg said. 

She added that in many cases, accounts were taken down because they were fake, but that if those accounts were run by real people, the social media network would have not removed them.