The House Intelligence Committee through its leaders yesterday indicated that they were willing to release information about the Facebook ads that are linked to Russia. The lawmakers talked about the plan to reporters on Wednesday afternoon after they held a successful meeting with Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. They confirmed that by 1st November, approximately 3,000 ads would be made public. These ads will help determine the role that Facebook played in the Russian interference in US elections. This is one of the few hearings that the Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to organize in the new two months. These hearings will involve major Silicon Valley companies such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook.
In a meeting that was expected to last for two days, the chief operating officer of Facebook sat down with Democrat Representative from Massachusetts Adam B. Schiff and Texas Republican Representative Michael K. Conaway. Mr. Conaway is the House investigation leader of the Republican Party. Facebook agreed to schedule this meeting as part of its public relations push to repair the fallout that resulted when it was linked to the Russia investigations. The company admitted to selling ads to groups linked to Russia and the Russian government for $100,000. Public interest groups and lawmakers have lobbied for the ads to be released in public for the last two months. They claim that making these ads public will help American citizens understand how the ads looked like. However, Facebook has openly admitted that they have no plans of making the ads public.
Mr. Schiff also mentioned that Facebook had agreed to hand in unrelated material such as inflammatory posts and fake news that had been used by the Russians. He was talking in a different interview. However, the information would be presented at undisclosed date later. According to the two lawmakers, the chief operating officer of Facebook understood the political pressure surrounding her company. They said that Facebook understands the interest that its association with the Russian investigation has generated. However, before the ads can be availed to the public, any personal information linked to these ads should be removed. The lawmakers said that Facebook was assisting with this process. After her meeting with these two leaders, the Facebook chief operating officer held another meeting with Kevin McCarthy, a Democratic Representative from California and Nancy Pelosi who is the House minority leader. Sheryl Sandberg did an interview on Thursday with Axios where she discussed the ads.