The special counsel for the Department of Justice, Robert Mueller, and his team have started an investigation related to Russia’s connection with regards to the 2016 election. As part of this investigation, the team has interviewed at least one Facebook employee who was associated with Trump’s presidential campaign.
Mueller’s team is on the search for interference from Russia in the 2016 election and evidence to see if the Trump campaign had any role with that interference. Facebook and other social platforms surfaced as key parts during the investigation. During the 2016 election, Facebook collaborated with the San Antonio–based digital team which was working on the Trump’s campaign, and they also sold more than 3,000 Facebook and Instagram ads to fake accounts which were linked to the Russian propaganda group Internet Research Agency
Facebook started sharing details of the Russian influence on their platform, and according to wide speculation, the Trump campaign planted information to the trolls which could have helped them to target their ads. However, Facebook stated that the Internet Research Agency did not target any specific list of voters. In response to questions asked during the congressional hearing, the social media giant said that, “We have seen only what appears to be insignificant overlap between the targeting and content used by the IRA and that used by the Trump campaign.”
Being a part of the investigation doesn’t mean that Facebook is being implicated. Considering their close association to the campaign, and the impact they had due to the Russian members would certainly suggest that the company is going to be a part of the investigation.
Other than Facebook, there are a lot of other tech companies which are being scrutinized by Mueller’s team. Cambridge Analytica was asked by the special counsel to provide their email records, as the company was involved by providing data analytics during Trump’s campaign.
Apart from Facebook, both Google and Twitter had sent their staff to San Antonio to work with the Trump campaign. Both these companies also sold ads to the Internet Research Agency. However, as of now, there is no news if these companies are being investigated by Mueller’s team.