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Facebook: $100k in ads came from Russian Federation during U.S. campaign

Facebook: $100k in ads came from Russian Federation during U.S. campaign”

Facebook said Wednesday that fake accounts and pages that likely have ties to Russian Federation spent $100,000 in divisive political ads from June 2015 to May 2017 before the usa presidential election.

Facebook officials told a congressional panel that the social network discovered it had sold advertisements to a Russia-based operation during the presidential election targeting US voters.

Separately, Facebook also found another $50,000 in political ad spending - for about 2,200 ads - that were bought from accounts "that might have originated in Russia", Stamos wrote.

"We have shared our findings with United States authorities investigating these issues, and we will continue to work with them as necessary", Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said in a statement.

The Washington Post first reported on Wednesday that Facebook had informed congressional investigators that the ad sales were linked to a Russian "troll" farm known for spreading propaganda. Mr Zuckerberg dismissed the notion that "fake news" on Facebook swayed the election as "crazy".

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Those ads were targeted, according to an unnamed Facebook official, at users who'd "expressed interest" in politically charged topics such as African-American social issues, the Second Amendment, immigration, and the LGBT community. Some of those ads were bought using computers with USA internet protocol addresses but set to the Russian language, though they were displayed to users in English. He said Facebook has shut down the accounts that remained active. Approximately 3,300 ads had ties to Russian Federation. The entity was called the Internet Research Agency.

In May, Time Magazine reported that USA intelligence officials had discovered evidence that Russian agents had purchased ads on Facebook to target specific populations with propaganda.

But the findings buttress US intelligence agency conclusions that Russian Federation was actively involved in shaping the election.

Following the election, Facebook released a 13 page statement outlining strategies for fighting fake news on its platform.

Those banned from such spending include foreign citizens, foreign governments, foreign political parties, foreign corporations, foreign associations and foreign partnerships, according to the FEC.



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