Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Russian Firm Spent $100K on Facebook Ads During 2016 Election

Facebook says shadowy Russian group spent $100000 on 'divisive' adverts during US election Facebook Acknowledges It Sold Political Ads to Russia in Election 2016 - Report
Carlton Santiago | 08 September, 2017, 00:37

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.

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

It's not so much a question of whether the Kremlin interfered in the election: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence in January stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered an influence campaign" to discredit Clinton and "undermine public faith in the United States democratic process".

He said these are serious claims and that the company had been reviewing a range of activity on the platform to help understand what happened.

About a quarter of the ads were geographically targeted; of those, more ran in 2015 and 2016, according to Stamos.

The social media network's analysis indicates that the 470 fake Facebook accounts were linked to each other "and likely operated out of Russian Federation".

Facebook said it has shut down remaining active accounts and is looking at steps to avoid similar problems in the future. President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have denied involvement in the USA election.

"This is a very significant set of data points produced by Facebook", Schiff said, adding: "Left unanswered in what we received from Facebook - because it is beyond the scope of what they are able to determine - is whether there was any coordination between these social media trolls and the campaign". This disclosure from Facebook gives more chance and clearance about the influence of Russian Federation in the U.S.election. Roughly 25% of these ads were geo-targeted, which means the accounts were pushing these issues to specific groups of people in the U.S.

Facebook briefed members of both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees on Wednesday about the suspected Russian Federation advertising, according to a congressional source familiar with the matter.

Facebook has been on the radar for disseminating inaccurate information with politically motivated messages during election campaigns. The company also looked for other ads that may have originated in Russia, in a broader search that included U.S. computers with the language set to Russian. Reuters offered a comparison: "More than $1 billion was spent on political ads during the 2016 presidential campaign, thousands of times more than the presumed Russian spending identified by Facebook's security team".

The discovery, revealed to investigators for the congressional intelligence committees, marked the first confirmation that Facebook was at least an oblique tool of Russia's election meddling campaign aimed at planting Donald Trump in the White House.


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