Russian accounts bought Facebook ads during United States election


Facebook says it has identified almost 500 fake accounts, probably run from Russian Federation, that it says spent about $100,000 on ads that amplified politically divisive issues during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

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 USA voters.

Facebook, the dominant social media network, said that numerous ads promoted 470 "inauthentic" accounts and pages that it has now suspended.

Mr Stamos said the ad spending was associated with "roughly 3,000 ads" between June 2015 and May 2017.

"Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia", Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, wrote in a blog post.

The tech firm shut down these accounts and pages and have shared its findings with USA authorities.

Most of the political ads that Facebook discovered didn't reference the US presidential election, voting or a specific candidate.

An official familiar with Facebook's internal investigation said the company does not have the ability to determine whether the ads it sold represented any sort of coordination. Instead, they focused instead on "divisive" social issues like LGBT subjects, gun rights and immigration-raising questions about the ways this content may have influenced the 2016 presidential election.

The prevailing informal community said that a considerable lot of the advertisements advanced 470 "inauthentic" records and pages that it has now suspended and the promotions spread polarizing sees on points including migration, race and gay rights, rather than sponsorship a specific political competitor.

Since the election, Facebook has been reviewing its role in spreading disinformation.

About $50,000 of the funds - about 2,200 ads- were potentially related to US politics.

Facebook discovered the Russian connection as part of an investigation that began this spring looking at purchasers of politically-motivated ads, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

Moscow has denied meddling in the USA election, and Mr. Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Russian Federation and has called the investigations a "witch hunt". However, according to official U.S. census data, there should only be 31m people of that age in the country.

"We don't allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and pages we identified that were still active".

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