Facebook will let some of its users see if they interacted with Russian propaganda

  • Some Facebook users will be able to see which Russia-linked pages they interacted with on the social network.
  • Facebook still won't tell users whether the propaganda they saw was a paid ad or a post in the News Feed.
  • The move follows in the footsteps of Twitter.


Facebook said Wednesday that it would let some of its users see whether they liked or followed pages belonging to Russia-linked operatives that sowed political divisiveness around the 2016 US presidential election.

A new page to be published on Facebook's help center by the end of the year will show whether some accounts interacted with the Russia-linked accounts, Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday.

"This is part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy," Facebook said.

Roughly 150 million of Facebook's users saw posts shared by pages belonging to the Russian propaganda organization known as the Internet Research Agency, Facebook previously told US investigators.

RELATED: Facebook over the years

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Facebook over the years
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Facebook over the years

The original Facebook homepage from 2004 with a small picture of Al Pacino in the top left corner.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg originally described himself as not only the founder of Facebook, but also as the "Master and Commander" and "Enemy of the State."

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Here's what a Facebook group page looked like in 2005.

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For comparison, this is what a Facebook group page looks like today.

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The Facebook homepage in 2005 also listed all of the schools the social network was in -- and still included the photo of Al Pacino.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The company decided to drop the "the" from its name in 2005, after it bought the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

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We love this gem about "poking" from one of the original FAQ pages.

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Facebook's homepage in 2006 was a stripped-back affair, doing away with the list of schools in favor of a simple login option.

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Mark Zuckerberg's profile in 2006.

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Facebook launched the News Feed to display all your friends' activity in a single timeline in 2006.

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At the same time, Facebook introduced the Mini-Feed. But the entire concept of a News Feed resulted in some very public outrage. Some users even went so far to call one of Facebook's product managers the devil.

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Facebook's 2007 homepage contained the first instance of its now-synonymous logo and offered the "latest news" from friends.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The Facebook of 2008 continued to refine the homepage and offered options for signing up.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook gained the "connected world" diagram in 2009, which lasted all the way until 2011.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

In 2009, Facebook's home page also got a facelift. Posts started to stream through the News Feed in real-time.

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That same year, Facebook also introduced its algorithm for determining the order in which status updates should be displayed.

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Facebook changed its logo font in 2010 but left the homepage much the same.

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2010 was also when Facebook brought notifications to the top navigation bar following yet another redesign.

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Facebook also rolled out a new, more visual profile in 2010. It added a row of recently tagged images below your name and basic profile information.

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Facebook left the design the same in 2011, but made the input boxes used to log in clearer.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Ticker in 2011 so users could keep up with their friends while browsing through other parts of Facebook.

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The Facebook Timeline feels like it's been around since the beginning. But it launched in 2011 to act as a virtual timeline of your entire life.

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Facebook also split its instant messaging into a different app called Messenger in 2011. It's now got more than 800 million monthly users.

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Facebook swapped out the connected world diagram for a phone in 2012 as its users moved from desktop to mobile. Today, over 800 million people access Facebook on mobile everyday.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook started flooding the News Feed with sponsored stories in January 2012.

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Facebook settled on a design in 2013 that it would stay with for the next few years.

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This is what Facebook's mobile app looked like when it first launched.

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It has since been completely redesigned.

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Facebook also owns a bunch of other popular apps, most notably Instagram, which the company bought for $1 billion in 2012. With more than 400 million monthly users, that seems like a steal nowadays.

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2015 was a big year for Facebook that saw its first ever day with one billion users online simultaneously. The company had figured out how to make money from mobile too, turning it into a $300 billion business.

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Today, more than 1.5 billion people use the social network every single month.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

And more than 1.4 billion people use it on their mobile phones every month. Not bad, considering 12 years ago smartphones didn't even exist.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

Here's the Facebook homepage today, on its 12th birthday.
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While Facebook will show some users the affiliated pages they liked or followed, the company maintains that technical and privacy reasons keep it from showing whether such propaganda was merely shown to someone as a paid ad or as a post in the News Feed.

Facebook's move to disclose more of the Russian activity on its platform to users follows Twitter's plan to create a public hub that allows anyone to see all ads running on its platform and how they are targeted.

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SEE ALSO: 18 political ads you may have seen on Facebook that were actually made by Russian trolls

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