Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Congress releases all 3000-plus Facebook ads bought by Russians

Congress releases all 3000-plus Facebook ads bought by Russians

According to intelligence reports, Russian Federation paid off almost 3.5 thousand of ads they saw 11.4 million Americans.

House Democrats early Thursday released the full slate of roughly 3,500 advertisements purchased on Facebook by the Russian Internet Research Agency, most during the 2016 campaign, in what USA intelligence agencies said was Moscow's attempt to sow discord and boost Donald Trump's candidacy. "But we are making steady progress". This stretches as far back as the summer of 2015 when "Black Matters", a group controlled by Russian trolls, ran an ad about the Charleston church shooting in SC. Russia's Internet Research Agency was behind tens of thousands of posts on Facebook designed to create political chaos and hurt us democracy, lawmakers said. Another 20 million saw IRA-generated content on Instagram.

The American public finally got a glimpse at one of the key tools in the Kremlin's online disinformation arsenal, when on Thursday Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released around 3,400 Facebook ads used by Russian agents to exploit America's ethnic, social and political tensions. Accounts like United Muslims of America urged viewers in NY in March 2016 to "stop Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims".

Although the Russians posed as Americans in the Facebook posts to make them seem more realistic, their use of language was awkward and strained. Few, if any, support Clinton.

The ads, shared by the House Intelligence Committee, often sported clunky English and downright freakish memes targeted at politicians, like President Barack Obama.

The intelligence committee Democrats released a sampling of the ads purchased by Russia's Internet Research Agency past year. Until August 2017, Russian-aligned pages and profiles advertised their opposition to immigrants, targeting a range of users, including those who appear to like Fox News.

These ads were heavily promoted during the 2016 election, with Russian trolls seeking to sow chaos.

While a limited number of ads had been released previously, the new cache reveals a scale and scope previously unseen.

There were ads placed on conservative Facebook pages highlighting attacks on police and the dangers of immigration, and linking African-American activists to Muslims.

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