Facebook says up to 146 million may have seen Russian content

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Content linked to Russia may have reached as many as 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram before the 2016 presidential election, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch testified Wednesday.

The figure is an increase of 20 million over the company’s previous estimate.

The new number reflects the approximately 20 million people who may have seen Russia-linked content on Instagram, Stretch said. The company’s data on Instagram posts “is not as complete” as its analysis of Facebook posts, he added. 

Facebook previously said that as many as 126 million people may have seen content posted by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. 

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012.

Representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared Wednesday morning before members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify on Russian interference in the 2016 election. They will appear before the House Intelligence Committee later in the day.

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