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Zuckerberg: Facebook Should Have Spotted Russian Election Meddling Earlier

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is due to testify before Congress on April 10-11. (file photo)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will tell Congress in scheduled appearances this week that his company should have spotted Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election earlier, a transcript of his testimony released on April 9 says.

"We were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference, and we're working hard to get better," Zuckerberg will say in testimony before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee scheduled for April 11, the transcript says.

Zuckerberg, 33, is also due to appear before joint Senate committees on April 10, in his first congressional appearance.

His testimony says Facebook had been aware of traditional Russian cyberthreats such as hacking and malware for years prior to the reports of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.

The transcript says Facebook "detected and dealt with" several threats with ties to Russia, including activity by a group called APT28, which the U.S. government says has links to Russian military intelligence.

The transcript says the group created fake personas that were used to funnel stolen information to journalists before the fake accounts were shut down.

Zuckerberg will also testify that the disinformation campaign run by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian "troll farm" that tried to manipulate people in the United States, Europe, and Russia, reached about 126 million people before Facebook shut it down.

Zuckerberg will testify that Facebook is building new technology to prevent states from interfering in foreign elections, is developing artificial-intelligence tools to remove fake accounts, and will hire more people to work on security and content review.

He is also expected to announce that the company is establishing an independent election-research commission that will look into the effects of social media on elections and democracy.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP