Facebook Admits To Selling Political Ads To Russian Firm During Election

Lucy Bush
September 7, 2017

In a statement, Facebook said it found "roughly 3,000" ads connected to 470 inauthentic accounts and pages it believes were "affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation".

Most of the ads run by the accounts didn't directly reference the USA presidential election, voting, or particular candidates but instead appeared focused on "amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum", according to Stamos. Roughly one quarter of these ads were targeted to particular geographic regions, particularly the ads that ran in 2015.

The social network said it also uncovered $50,000 more in ads clearly of a political nature that might have links to Russian Federation.

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The ad spending from the Russian outfit was dwarfed by overall spending - but investigators will now focus on whether Russia was following orders from someone inside the United States, the paper said.

As recently as June, it told journalists that it had not found any evidence to date of Russian operatives buying election-related ads on its platform.

The announcement comes after the company reported its findings to congressional investigators, as first reported by The Washington Post. Approximately 3,300 ads had ties to Russian Federation. The newspaper didn't name the Russian company. The Post reports that they are suspected of being connected to The Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known to push pro-Kremlin propaganda.

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Facebook on September 6 revealed the findings in a blog post by its chief security officer and said it was cooperating with federal investigators. Over the past few months, Stamos said, the company has also taken action to block fake accounts tied to election meddling in France and Germany. That race remains under investigation for potential collusion between Trump's team and a Russian government that USA intelligence agencies stated earlier this year had a "clear preference" for the Republican.

The prevailing informal community said that a considerable lot of the advertisements advanced 470 "inauthentic" records and pages that it has now suspended and the promotions spread polarizing sees on points including migration, race and gay rights, rather than sponsorship a specific political competitor.

The site, and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, came under extremely heavy criticism for not taking the issue seriously in the days following President Donald Trump's election win.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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