We're inundated on a daily basis with all kinds of information on social media. It can seem like information overload sometimes.
Along with that comes a lot of material that is fake or that is just pure propaganda. I’m sure you've heard the term Russian propaganda a lot over the last year. Recently, Facebook fessed up about accepting money for advertisements from a Russian propaganda firm leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Now, the social media giant has created a tool that will let you know if you have clicked on Russian propaganda.
New Facebook tool shows if Russian propaganda has inundated your newsfeed
The portal will actually tell you if you’ve been engaged with pages linked to Russian propaganda efforts. You’re able to tell whether you liked or followed specific Facebook or Instagram accounts backed by the Russian government. The portal is available through the Facebook Help Center and tracks activity by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency (IRA) between January 2015 and August 2017.
As Facebook puts it, the accounts in question were part of a bigger effort to "sow division and mistrust" before and after the 2016 U.S. election. The propaganda supported many American ideological political causes and seemed to be gaining traction among Facebook users.
One Russia-linked page even organized successful offline rallies. The Internet Research Agency also allegedly pushed thousands of divisive ads to as many as 10 million people, usually directing them to other similar pages.
Facebook said, "We are taking action to be more transparent about the foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections. We've taken down fake accounts and Pages by the Internet Research Agency and have shared this information with Congress."
The easiest way to get to the new Facebook tool is by clicking here. Once you're logged into Facebook, and Instagram if you have an account, you'll see a list of liked or followed pages or accounts from the IRA.
Image: Example of Facebook's tool.
As you can see in the example above, there are no likes or follows for the IRA on this Facebook account. If there were likes or follows, you would be able to see them as well as the date that it occurred.
Referencing steps to combat propaganda that could sway our elections, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity. Facebook's mission is all about giving people a voice and bringing people closer together.
"Those are deeply democratic values and we're proud of them. I don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. That's not what we stand for."
It's not just fake news circulating on social media, there are also fake ads misleading people
You've probably been hearing tons of news about Russia lately. There have been allegations that Russian actors tampered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election for months. Recently, we've seen a lot of ads on Facebook that have stirred up Americans' emotions. I have examples of those ads, you might even recognize some of them.