News host expresses doubt over Russia-linked ads (video)

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John Dickerson, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” voiced in an interview with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) trepidation over the lawmaker’s belief that Russian backed Facebook advertising affected the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook has been the talk of the news cycle this week as the social network’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will be turning over 3,000 Kremlin-linked ads to congressional committees for investigation. On Sep. 6, the company disclosed that a shady, Kremlin-backed company paid $100,000 for the purchase of a series of Facebook ads.

Schiff said the advertising was meant to pit Americans against one another and foster an environment of division. He also said Facebook’s algorithms had the effect of creating echo chambers, which Dickerson pointed out is a Facebook problem, not a Russia problem.

“That’s a Facebook problem, not a Russia problem,” Dickerson said. “That’s a problem with their algorithm that keeps us all siloed in certain, narrow areas.”

“There’s certainly a Russia implication because they use these algorithms to amplify misinformation or slanted information,” Schiff said.

“What’s the impact, though, of these Russian Facebook ads?” Dickerson asked. “I mean, is anybody saying that they had any influence on the election that changed the outcome in any possible way? It seems a small amount to have done anything like that.”

Dickerson went on to say that the $100,000 spent hasn’t even been fully linked to Russia, saying it could’ve been a third party or a proxy.

Mark Zuckerberg himself has said he doubts “fake news” spread on Facebook influenced the election.

“Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way — I think is a pretty crazy idea,” he said.

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