Facebook expands probe into whether Russian Federation interfered in European Union referendum

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The House of Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee said Simon Milner, the tech titan's head of policy in Britain, had vowed the company would now search for "clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum" that appeared to have originated in Russian Federation.

Facebook is set to widen its search for evidence of Russia's alleged interference in Britain's European Union referendum.

On Wednesday, Facebook wrote to Mr Collins saying: "We have considered your request and can confirm that our investigatory team is now looking to see if we can identify other similar clusters engaged in co-ordinated activity around the Brexit referendum that was not identified previously".

His committee in October asked Facebook, Twitter Inc. and other internet companies to provide information about how the Russian government used social media accounts to influence the Brexit vote and the 2017 election.

Mr. Collins, a Conservative lawmaker who chairs a parliamentary committee on media and culture, said he welcomed Facebook's response after the company had previously resisted the committee's calls to deepen its investigation.

The following month, Facebook surfaced a tiny amount of evidence: The company said that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, spent less than a dollar on three Brexit-related ads.

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Milner said security experts would begin their investigation "promptly" but that it may take several weeks to produce results.

The UK Electoral Commission had asked the company to look at accounts identified as part of Russia's "Internet Research Agency" of trolls and propagandists, which interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

"We would be very interested in receiving any information, including intelligence assessments or reports, that you and the United Kingdom government may have that is relevant to this work", Mr. Milner said in his letter, noting that the inquiry "requires detailed analysis of historic data by our security experts".

Yesterday (January 17) the social media giant informed the Government of its further research, according to CNN.

"The likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close [President Vladimir] Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence", the report said.

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