- The chair of a powerful British Parliamentary committee wants answers from Facebook.
- Damian Collins MP says he wants any details of Russian spending in Brexit votes and 2017 election.
- MPs are reportedly planning to write to Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday.
A group of MPs is reportedly planning to demand that Facebook reveals any evidence it holds that Russia tried to influence recent major votes in the UK, including the general election and EU referendum.
The chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has said the body will write a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking for details of political adverts funded by the Russian state.
Damian Collins MP told The Sun newspaper that he wants the information to form part of his committee’s investigation into fake news online.
Facebook has already provided the US Congress with similar information, revealing that Russian-linked accounts spent around $US100,000 on 3,000 ad campaigns in a two-year period spanning the 2016 presidential election.
Collins said: “We have seen from the investigation in the USA that Facebook was used by Russian-backed organisations to try and influence the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.
“We need to know if the same techniques have been used in the UK around our election and the Brexit referendum.
“Facebook holds this information and I would like them to share it with the DCMS select committee as part of our inquiry into fake news, and the impact the abuse of social media platforms can have on our democracy.”
The Sun reported that the letter will ask for “all details about political advertising purchased during the two British campaigns by Russian and other suspect foreign groups.”
A spokeswoman for the committee told Business Insider that the letter would be sent on Tuesday morning after a meeting of the committee, provided that a sufficient number of MPs agree to it.
MPs have previously alleged that the government already has details of alleged Russian interference in British elections that it is withholding from the public.
In an interview earlier this year with Business Insider, former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said: “Our government clearly knows more than they’re letting on and I think it’s slightly suspicious that they’re not being more open about it. In fact, they’re being less open than any other Western democracy has been.”
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