Congress releases all 3000-plus Facebook ads bought by Russians

Congress releases all 3000-plus Facebook ads bought by Russians

So the 3,400 Russia-linked Facebook ads released on Thursday by Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee might be expected to feature overtly pro-Trump or anti-Clinton messages. The release of ads from early 2015 through mid-2017 does not include 80,000 posts that the agency also shared.

In April, for instance, Facebook removed 70 Facebook and 65 Instagram accounts - as well as 138 Facebook Pages - controlled by the Russian-based IRA, targeted tp people living in Russia or Russian-speakers in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of US persons and entities.

What Did The Intelligence Committee Release?

In February, Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian Federation and the 2016 election, indicted individuals tied to the IRA for trying to interfere in the presidential race.

"This will never be a solved problem because we're up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries", Facebook said in a statement after the release of the ads. "But we are making steady progress".

In total, ads purchased by agents tied to the Kremlin-backed IRA reached about 10 million USA users around the 2016 presidential election, according to Facebook's own estimates.

The ads and postings show a pattern of stirring up anger among different groups, encouraging support for then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, and discouraging support for his rival Hillary Clinton.

The ads were created to get people to "Like" Russian-created Facebook pages that produced organic content.




Facebook said it has made changes to stop such ads from being posted on its site.

In many cases, the Kremlin-tied ads took multiple sides of the same issue. Accounts like United Muslims of America urged viewers in NY in March 2016 to "stop Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims". You can view the ads in a file published by the House Intelligence Committee. A large number of them attempt to stoke racial divisions by mentioning police brutality or disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement.

"There's no question that Russian Federation sought to weaponize social media platforms to drive a wedge between Americans, and in an attempt to sway the 2016 election", Rep. They contain examples like the one below, which was created on July 14th of 2016. For example, Russian Federation crafted ads to represent both sides of immigration debates, but simply promoting immigration as a leading issue in the election could have worked to Trump's advantage.

Sometimes the targeting appeared to work - after a try or two. Some of the trolls even targeted Bernie Sanders supporters with a fake Facebook page and ads.

The Russian trolls spent $100,000 in rubles to buy ads on Facebook, which were targeted at specific users.

Additionally, in their October 2016 joint attribution statement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence laid out the Intelligence Community's assessment that senior Russian government officials had directed a hacking-and-dumping campaign to interfere in the November 2016 USA election.

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