Facebook is defending itself from multiple allegations leveled against it in Thursday’s bombshell New York Times report.
The company is outright denying its reported hesitation to investigate Russian interference on its platform during the 2016 presidential election, but several other allegations from the story have been explained by the company.
The biggest of the allegations from the story happens to be the claim that Facebook knew about Russian meddling on its platform earlier than it had previously stated.
The New York Times reports that Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos began investigating Russian propaganda on the network with a small team in the spring of 2016. The story adds that Stamos and his team were ready to publish a report on the investigation in January 2017, but Facebook’s vice president for corporate public policy Joel Kaplan fought to scuttle and obfuscate the investigation’s results.
The report claims Kaplan was concerned the findings of the internal investigation would make Facebook appear to be biased against conservative viewpoints and Republicans.
Facebook said in a statement Thursday that this allegation is simply “not true.
Facebook cites Mark Zuckerberg’s sworn testimony to Congress in April, where the company’s founder said under oath, “Leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia… We shut these accounts down for violating our policies.”
Facebook also denied the allegation by referring to a March tweet where Stamos said, “to be clear, the security team has never been prevented or discouraged from investigating any Russian activity by any executives.”