Russian content on Facebook, Google and Twitter reached far more users than first disclosed, testimony says – Chicago Tribune

Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than the company had previously disclosed about the reach of the online influence campaign targeting American voters.

The company previously reported that an estimated 10 million users had seen ads bought by Russian-controlled accounts and pages. But Facebook has been silent regarding the spread of free content despite independent researchers suggesting that it was seen by far more users than the ads were.

Tuesday’s planned disclosure, contained in draft company testimony obtained by The Washington Post ahead of three Capitol Hill hearings this week, comes as Facebook and other tech giants face mounting pressure to fully investigate the Russian campaign to influence American voters and reveal their findings to the public.

Google acknowledged for the first time Monday that it had found evidence that Russian operatives used the company’s platforms to influence American voters, saying in a blog post that it had found 1,108 videos with 43 hours of content related to the Russian effort on YouTube. It also found $4,700 worth of Russian search and display ads.

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