Russian-bought Facebook ads 'seen by 10 million in US'

Posted October 05, 2017

Facebook says an estimated 10 million people in the USA saw at least one of the 3,000 political ads it says were bought by accounts linked to the Russian government.

50 percent of them got $3, 99 percent got $1,000 in ad spend.

Facebook Inc. Said it plans on Monday to deliver to the U.S. Congress, about 3,000 ads copies, that their network suggests were likely acquired by those in Russian Federation in the preceding and following months of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election on Facebook.

"The impact is vastly disproportionate to the amount spent", said Benjamin G. Edelman, who teaches the economics of online markets at Harvard Business School.

Facebook plans to hire 1,000 more people to review ads and ensure they meet its terms, as part of an effort to deter Russian Federation and other countries from using the social media network to interfere in others' elections, it said on Monday.

"I'll reserve judgment, I'll see what they are". None of the ads were targeted based on "personal information such as email addresses", the company said.

The company said on Monday that it would adjust its policies further "to prevent ads that use even more subtle expressions of violence". Supposedly, only 44 percent of these ads were shown to the public before the elections, but it was still shown to more than 10 million users.

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Vladimir Putin, the President of Russian Federation, has refused that his government hindered with the election in the USA, in which Democrat Hillary Clinton was overpowered by Republican Donald Trump. The feature is so focused, advertisers can target people who have returned from a vacation in the past week.

Facebook Inc shares rose $0.05 (+0.03%) in premarket trading Wednesday.

"For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better", Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on September 30, without naming a specific issue. Total Spend on the advertisements, which were also created during the 2016 election, came to $274,100. If a straightforward buyer had purchased them instead of an allegedly Russian entity masquerading as a variety of USA interest groups, they would have largely been OK with Facebook. Schiff said he intends to publish a representative sample of the ads.

A spokesperson for the company said its internal investigation is not finished. "These ads are timely, relevant and provocative".

A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted MI and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

Mark Warner, the U.S. Senator, this week claimed that he was saddened by Facebook for failing to give the newest data at the time of a briefing with staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

He also made clear that the company was working with other major social networks like Twitter and Google "on a range of elements related to this investigation".