IT&Software

Russian-Linked Ads Didn't Reach Most Facebook Users Until AFTER Election Day

Russian-Linked Ads Didn't Reach Most Facebook Users Until AFTER Election Day

In September, the social media giant disclosed that accounts affiliated with Russian Federation bought more than $100,000 in election-related ads.

"Even when we have taken all steps to control abuse, there will be political and social content that will appear on our platform that people will find objectionable, and that we will find objectionable", Schrage writes.

According to a September 6 post by Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, more than $100,000 worth of ads dealing with divisive issues like LGBT rights, race, immigration, and gun rights were purchased on the platform.

And he said some of the ads may still be on the site.

Over the last month, it was discovered that a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency, which aimed at amplifying racial and social discrimination, had published ads on Facebook between 2015 and 2017. Those records were given to the Senate and House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

Joel Kaplan, the vice president for Facebook's public policy in the USA said, "We're obviously disturbed by this", the Times reported.

Additionally, Facebook said Monday it provided information on about 3,000 relevant ads to congressional investigators.

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In a bid to strengthen their manual review process, the company is hiring 1,000 people to join their global ads review team.

The total ad spend attributed to the Russian campaign has been put at $100k, with less than $1,000 spent on 99% of the flagged adverts - although the social network hasn't discounted uncovering more Russian-linked material as it investigates further.

Facebook handed over to Congress roughly 3,000 ads with links to Russian Federation on Monday. None of the companies has yet said whether it will accept the invitations. But Twitter - as it turned over information about those users as well as RT's ads - quickly drew the ire of lawmakers like Sen. Mark Warner and California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence panels - have said they believe the American public should see them.

It is unclear whether the ads will eventually be released publicly.

Approximately 10 million people actually saw the ads Russian Federation purchased, according to Facebook and the Times. In this case, there was no hacking involved, it was just ads being bought through an ad platform; some may have infringed Facebook's rules, but it certainly isn't hacking, at least in this particular case.

Some of those same suspicious accounts on Facebook, however, also have ties to another 200 accounts on Twitter, a realization it shared with congressional investigators last week.


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