House Democrats release over 3500 Russian Facebook ads

House Democrats release over 3500 Russian Facebook ads

As has been widely reported, numerous ads sought to directly influence American votes in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. The Republicans on the Intelligence Committee, led by California's Representative Devin Nunes, claimed that they had found no evidence that the Trump campaign worked with Russian Federation.

House Democrats on Thursday released more than 3,500 Facebook ads that reveal the depth of the propaganda effort.

The trove of ads released Thursday appears to back the assertion that the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton.

At face value, the both-sides nature of the Facebook ads would seem to undermine the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation favored Trump. Numerous ads have been made public over the past year, but the database provides a fuller picture of an effort that cost the Russians barely Dollars 100,000 to reach 126 million Americans and arguably impact the race that sent Trump to the White House over favored Clinton.

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In doing so, Russia's online army reached at least 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing service, with ads and other posts.

"They sought to harness Americans' very real frustrations and anger over sensitive political matters in order to influence American thinking, voting and behavior", said Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

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

According to court documents, Mueller alleges that the IRA "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the USA political system, including the 2016 US presidential election". Together, the ads affirmed the fears of some lawmakers, including Republicans, that Russian agents have continued to try to influence US politics even after the 2016 election. But it offered one example of the extent to which Russian trolls sought to exploit both sides of major national debates - including football players who knelt during the national anthem to bring attention to issues of racism. Other posts about black issues targeted all four cities, pushing news articles about police brutality and essays about being black in America, sometimes written in the first person as an African-American.

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In addition to targeting users by interest, some trolls created ads that targeted voters by zip code. To protect innocent victims, Facebook-at the urging of the Committee Minority-also has notified users whose genuine online events were unwittingly promoted by the IRA. There has been no evidence that Trump's campaign was in any way associated with the social media effort.

Facebook said in a blog post following the release, "we were too slow to spot this type of information operations interference".

"We will continue to work with Facebook and other tech companies to expose additional content, advertisements, and information as our investigation progresses". Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of US persons and entities.

Facebook recently announced that it will label political ads in the future.

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