Facebook: Ads sold to Russian 'troll farm' during 2016 campaign

Facebook says shadowy Russian group spent $100000 on 'divisive' adverts during US election

"Facebook notes that the "vast majority" of the ads it analyzed didn't reference a candidate, voting or the 2016 election specifically; instead, they were meant to "[amplify] divisive social and political messages".

The Facebook newsletter issued by Chief Security officer, Alex Stamos, disclosed that the advertisements which ran from June 2015 to June 2017 were from 47 fake accounts and pages having alleged links to the Kremlin movement in Russian Federation.

Facebook announced the findings in a blog post by its chief security officer, Alex Stamos, and said that it was cooperating with federal inquiries into influence operations during the 2016 USA presidential election.

The ads - both traditional advertisements and sponsored posts - were meant to sow discord among the American electorate by amplifying "divisive social and political messages", Stamos said.

San Francisco: An internal investigation at Facebook has revealed that fake Russian accounts bought almost $100,000 of political ads during the 2016 United States election campaign.

Lately in June Facebook said to the journalists that it did not find any evidence of the election-related ads bought by the Russian operative in its field.

"Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia", Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos wrote. Facebook's announcement does appear to fit with the overall conclusion of the USA intelligence community that Russian Federation attempted to interfere in the 2016 election, leading some to feel vindicated.

"As part of the investigation undertaken into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, we are keenly interested in Russia's use of social media platforms, both the use of bots and trolls to spread disinformation and propaganda, including through the use of paid online advertising", Schiff said in a statement.

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.

Facebook's findings affirm the conclusions of US intelligence agencies, which issued a 14-page declassified assessment in January.

Although Facebook did not give examples of the ads, issue-oriented ads may not violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, which forbids foreign nationals from funding election-related activities.

The official post mentioned an additional, broader net cast to identify other Russia-connected ads sold during that span-"with very weak signals of a connection and not associated with any known organized effort", it clarified.

Facebook announced Wednesday that they discovered about $100,000 worth of political ads purchased over the last two years by fake accounts that "likely operated out of Russian Federation". The social media platform was in news for its role during the 2016 USA presidential election.

Mueller is the special counsel who is investigating whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow.

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