Facebook says it's 'seen nothing' to suggest Russia attempted to meddle in Brexit

Nicola MendelsohnSky NewsFacebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn.
  • Facebook downplays the theory that Russia meddled in Brexit.
  • Top Europe executive says Facebook has “seen nothing” to suggest the site was used to target voters in the same it was during the election.

Facebook has seen no evidence to suggest that it was used by Russia to interfere in Brexit in the same way it was during the US election last year.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president of EMEA, addressed growing concerns that the Kremlin tried to influence Brits into voting to leave the EU using social media propaganda.

Speaking on Sky News on Monday, she said: “To date, we have seen nothing to indicate that the known clusters that we saw in the US election did anything in relation to Brexit or the general election.”

It was a different picture in the US, where Facebook found Russian-linked accounts spent around $US100,000 ($US76,000) on 3,000 ad campaigns in a two-year period spanning the 2016 presidential election.

Mendelsohn’s comments could pre-empt a formal reply to MP Damian Collins, the chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee, who has written to Facebook asking for evidence of Russian meddling.

“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,” Collins said last month.

“We need to know if the same techniques have been used in the UK around our election and the Brexit referendum.”

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