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Facebook To Use Postcards To Verify Ad Buyers To Prevent Election Meddling

Facebook says it will use postcards sent through the U.S. mail in an attempt to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections in the future.

Facebook executive Katie Harbath on February 17 told a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State that the social-media company would send postcards to potential buyers of political advertisements to confirm they reside in the United States.

The company presented its plan a day after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians with interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The indictment alleged Russian agents stole Social Security numbers and other information from Americans and used them to create bank and online payment accounts to buy ads.

U.S lawmakers in November released a batch of Facebook ads linked to Russia’s efforts to disrupt the presidential election and stir up emotions on sensitive social issues.

The release of the ads by the House Intelligence Committee came as Facebook and other social-media platforms came under increasing pressure for not doing enough to block Russian interference on their sites and prevent meddling in the 2016 election.

Facebook did not specify how the postcard method of verification would prevent foreign agents from setting up local mailing addresses and hiring people in the United States to check them.

The company in the past said it would double the number of staff devoted to safety and security to 20,000 and add 1,000 people to review advertising content.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters