Congress is analyzing whether or not advertisements linked to Russian accounts tried to meddle with the 2016 US election.
Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Pictures
About 10 million Fb customers noticed Russian-linked advertisements positioned on its service through the 2016 US election marketing campaign, the social media big stated Monday.
About 44 p.c of the advertisements have been seen earlier than election, whereas 56 p.c have been seen afterward, Elliot Schrage, the corporate’s vp of coverage and communications, wrote in a weblog publish. The figures have been among the many information Fb shared with Congress over issues the advertisements could have influenced the 2016 presidential election.
“A lot of the advertisements seem to give attention to divisive social and political messages throughout the ideological spectrum, bearing on matters from LGBT issues to race points to immigration to gun rights,” Schrage wrote. “A variety of them seem to encourage folks to observe Pages on these points.”
The revelation comes almost a month after Fb stated it recognized about 500 “inauthentic accounts” that purchased $100,000 value of advertisements that focused extremely politicized social points equivalent to immigration, weapons and LGBT rights. Fb has despatched data of the advertisements to authorities investigators wanting into Russia’s alleged meddling within the 2016 US presidential election.
Fb’s disclosure marked a brand new flip within the high-profile Russia investigation, which has raised points regarding President Donald Trump’s election final 12 months, the involvement of his kids and the actions of his workers. At difficulty is how a lot the Russian authorities could have tried to affect the citizens, and whether or not Trump or anybody working for him was knowingly concerned. Trump has repeatedly denied involvement.
Schrage revealed that among the advertisements have been paid for in Russian foreign money, however stated that alone wasn’t an efficient approach of figuring out suspicious conduct.
“The overwhelming majority of advertisers who pay in Russian foreign money, just like the overwhelming majority of people that entry Fb from Russia, aren’t doing something fallacious,” Schrage wrote. “We did use this as a sign to assist establish these advertisements, however it wasn’t the one sign.
For its half, Silicon Valley is coming to grips with how a lot its companies could have been used to sway the election. Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who at first downplayed the affect the social community could have had on the unfold of false information, has now embraced these issues and is working to handle them. These efforts embody working with information organizations to establish false information, and shutting down promoting entry to accounts that repeatedly unfold it.
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