Members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Thursday to discuss their concerns over the social media company's lack of corporate diversity and its acceptance of Russian ads that stoked racial tensions during the 2016 presidential election.
In an interview with Axios, the social network's COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook has "an enormous responsibility here", and thinks it's vital the government finds out what really happened and explains it to the American public.
"We're going to give them the material they want", she said. The COO of the tech giant says the company will do "everything we can" to defend against foreign interference.
"We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms. and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them", she said.
Contrary to her claim, Facebook hired former NBC anchor Campbell Brown in January to head up the company's news division and work with other journalists to maximise their use of Facebook's platform. If the company accepts that it is a media firm, it would open the platform up to regulatory rules in the U.S. and other countries which Facebook would rather avoid.
Sandberg said she supported the public release of those ads, and the pages to which they were connected.
Last month, Facebook agreed to hand over the ads to congressional investigators in addition to special counsel Robert Mueller.
She also said, the site had taken steps to stop those behind the fake accounts profiting from the ads they put on Facebook.
Axios co-founder Mike Allen asked Sandberg whether Twitter made a mistake in blocking Blackburn's ad. "In that ad, there's a lot of positions that people don't like, that I don't like". Representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify about Russian influence at hearings before the Senate and House intelligence committees on November 1.