House Intelligence Committee releases Russia-linked Facebook ads

Mark Zuckerberg Pledges to Invest in Preventing Abuse on Facebook

Though the small number of ads made public make it hard to confirm that the ads are a "representative sampling", as Democrats on the committee claim, those released shore up reporting about Russia's efforts to stoke American voters' fears of their Muslim, black and Latino neighbors.

The Senate Intelligence Committee questioned lawyers for Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google as part of a broader investigation into possible Russian interference in last year's election.

They also included the meta-data, or information the buyer used to obtain the ad through Facebook's automated ad system, from age of the targeted viewer to content they like, and how successful the ads were in getting users to click on them.

COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook will stand by its policy of allowing issue-related ads to be served because of its support for free speech, but she said the company wants to elevate the quality of discourse on the platform. The ad was paid for in Russian rubles, and cost about $240 based on the current exchange rate. Before the Facebook 3Q17 earnings report was released, Verto Analytics picked up a 28% increase in the average amount of time spent per user. The ad featured pictures of African-American people shot by police, and contained the message, "Join us because we care".

"We have a problem", Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told the attorneys during the House Intelligence Committee meeting Wednesday. It was targeted to places around the US, including Ferguson, Missouri, the place where one of the people featured in the ad, Michael Brown, lived and died.




Burr and Warner both showed different examples of how Russian actors used Facebook to manipulate Americans. The account also promoted Florida Trump rallies. Among those targeted with the ad were those who liked Gun Rights, National Rifle Association and The Second Amendment.

"Satan: If I win Clinton wins!". And even though Donald Trump isn't a saint by any means, he's at least an honest man and he cares deeply for this country.

Among those who were likely to see this ad were Facebook users who had previously liked Laura Ingraham, God, Ron Paul, Christianity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, Bible and Mike Huckabee.

According to the committee, the equivalent of only $1 was spent on the ad, generating 71 impressions and 14 interactions.

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