Russian Facebook Ads Targeted Muslims, Gun Owners, Black Lives Matter


Facebook provided few details on what those security measures would entail, except to say that it was adding new documentation requirements in which advertisers will have to certify that they are legitimate political organizations before they buy ads.

- 44% of the ads were seen before the United States election on November 8, 2016; 56% were seen after the election. Half of the ads cost less than $3, and 99% cost less than $1,000. The company has not said if it will release the ads to the public. Those companies have come under increasing pressure from Capitol Hill to investigate Russian meddling and are facing the possibility of new regulations that could affect their massive advertising businesses.

Facebook said the ads addressed social and political issues and ran between 2015 and 2017.

But in an indication of the power of social media, and the challenge in controlling it, Facebook described how the 3,000 ads it had previously identified as being linked to Russian Federation were seen by 10 million of its users - a number roughly the size of Michigan's population.

The decision to hire more employees comes following the revelation that a Russian company shelled out money to release ads on Facebook to influence the US election.

Senate intelligence chairman Richard Burr said Monday he won't be the one who makes the Russian-linked Facebook election ads public.

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"These ads are significant to our investigation as they help demonstrate how Russian Federation employed sophisticated measures to push disinformation and propaganda to millions of Americans online during the election, in order to sow discord and chaos, and divide us from one another", Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement on Monday. "Reviewing ads means assessing not just the content of an ad, but the context in which it was bought and the intended audience - so we're changing our ads review system to pay more attention to these signals", the company said.

Facebook first refused to share the ads' copies by saying that it would compromise the privacy of the user but on September 21, he announced the reversal of his decision.

The committee expects Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, to send representatives to testify at the hearing.

The information will be presented to congressional investigators that have been studying Russia's meddling in the USA election for several months. The company has since smartly gotten more serious about the scandal, which has drawn a huge amount of scrutiny from regulators and placed the firm in the crosshairs of the federal government.

It seems Mark Zuckerberg spent his Yom Kippur reflecting on the impact Facebook has had on the world. Zuckerberg said on a Facebook Live, "I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity".