Facebook: Russia-Linked Accounts Bought $100,000 of Political Ads During 2016 Election
Facebook has confirmed that after a review to see if there was any connection between Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and ads purchased on the platform, roughly $100,000 of ad spending was connected to hundreds of troll accounts and pages operated out of Russia.
The amount spent equaled about 3,000 ads that ran between June 2015 and May 2017. Most of the political ads weren’t specifically referencing the presidential election but were instead focused on pushing divisive social and political messages such as race issues and gun rights. About a quarter of these ads were geographically targeted.
According to the Washington Post, Facebook representatives told Congressional investigators in the Russian probe about the discovery of the ad sales to the Russian “troll farm,” a company that is known for pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda.
The news of the Facebook ad sales to Russia for targeted political messages in specific jurisdictions will likely lead many Democrats to point to this as potential proof that Russians were receiving guidance from Americans. In fact, back in May, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton laid out the case that American data miners were assisting Russia to specifically target areas like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states she barely lost to Donald Trump.
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