Facebook Ads Created By Russian Agency Released

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But others gained widespread attention and collectively, the effort was significant - at once sophisticated and simple, touching on divisive issues such as immigration and Black Lives Matter. A large number of them attempt to stoke racial divisions by mentioning police brutality or disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement. The combined reach of both the ads and organic posts was 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram.

The ads were released by Democrats on the highly polarized House Intelligence Committee.

"Since our open hearing in November 2017, we have worked closely with Facebook to ensure that the American people can see the full extent of Russia's malign use of social media".

Thursday's report, compiled and provided by Facebook and the House committee, includes visuals of all 3,000 original ads as well as the associated metadata selected by the IRA, the Russia-linked organization that has been found to be the source of the ads and other propaganda efforts.

Numerous ads focus on politically divisive topics, like gun control, immigration and LGBTQ issues.

As tempting as it may be to write these people off, the numbers are a little staggering: 126 million people saw Russian disinformation, per Mark Zuckerberg, the ads just released were seen by 33 million, and 3.7 million people clicked them.

"Sadness and shocking tragedy at historically black church in Charlestone (sic). Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the US political system, including the presidential election of 2016".

Some of the ads promoted Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, who were running against Hillary Clinton, and one showed former President Obama in the Oval Office with an Islamic State flag behind him. At a news conference revealing the charges, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, "There is no allegation any American had any knowledge" of the troll farm's activities in the indictment.

Since then, Facebook insists it has taken steps to prevent Russian operatives and other bad actors from exploiting its platform to undermine the democratic process.

In addition, the political ads were often dressed up in provocative memes to draw support from their intended audience.

"This will never be a solved problem because we're up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries", Facebook said in a statement after the release of the ads. "But we are making steady progress".