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Russians bought $100k in ads during 2016 elections, reports say!
08 September 2017, 12:38 | Brenda Erickson
Facebook Acknowledges It Sold Political Ads to Russia in Election 2016 - Report
Facebooksays an internal investigation has uncovered $100,000 in advertising spending by hundreds of fake accounts and pages, likely operated out of Russian Federation, which sought to sow political division during the US presidential election.
While the majority of the ads, run between June 2015 and May 2017, didn't directly reference the election, they amplified "divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum", Facebook said in a statement.
The piece added that investigators "are focusing on whether Trump's campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states - areas where Trump's digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton".
Facebook's declaration published on Wednesday came as fresh evidence to the American intelligence agencies' claims of Russia's destabilization campaign under the alleged leadership of President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 US Elections.
Facebook just announced that it may have helped Russian groups influence US elections through ads. The paper outlined some of the techniques used to propagate certain views to sway the public's opinion or even sow the seeds of confusion. The analysis of these pages by FB team suggested that they were linked with one another and had origins in Russian Federation. The source also said that the company produced copies of data and also advertisements about the buyers. In this part of our review, we found approximately $50,000 in potentially politically related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday he has "a lot more questions for Facebook" following the briefing.
There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 United States election about Russian interference in the electoral process.
Multiple investigations - of the Congressional and Justice Department varieties - continue into Russia's interference with the USA election, and Facebook has now confirmed one piece of the puzzle after months of apparent resistance by the social media platform.
Faccebook has been singled out among social media sites for amplifying "fake news" stories, which some are convinced helped tip the election in Donald Trump's favor.
Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" on Wednesday that the information from Facebook backed up an existing finding that Russian Federation allegedly attempted to meddle in the 2016 election.
Facebook said they have shared their findings with U.S. authorities and will continue to work with them as necessary. Or, at least, that was the case in 2015 and 2016 when these ads ran on the social network without raising any flags.
Facebook and other internet giants have been cracking down on "fake news" after being hit with criticism that rampant spread of bogus stories influenced the outcome of the USA presidential election.
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