Facebook estimates 10 million viewed Russia-linked ads

04 October, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • The Facebook application seen on a phone screen in August 2017 file

The US intelligence community said Russian Federation interfered in the election and a number of congressional panels are investigating its involvement and whether members of the Trump campaign participated.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, has become a primary platform for internet political ads because it has a wide reach and gives advertisers powerful targeting capabilities.

Mr Zuckerberg initially said it was "crazy" to think that misinformation spread on Facebook influenced the outcome of the election, but he has now changed that view. The company has been invited along with Facebook and Google to testify in front of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which are set to hold hearings on the 2016 election in October and November, respectively.

Facebook said it reviews millions of ads each week and, in addition, about eight million people report ads to the company every day. Additionally, the tech titan recently said it would begin forcing Pages to disclose the source of funding behind political ads. On 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent, he said. The group's Facebook page was adorned with adorable puppy memes and paid ads.

We are continuing to refine our techniques for identifying the kinds of ads in question.

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Election-related ads affiliated with Russian Federation bought in more than $100,000 for Facebook, it was announced in September. The Campaign Legal Center is a nonprofit of Washington that supports for additional elections transparency, this week sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook, requesting that the firm publicly rolls out the content of the supposed Russia-connected political ads.

Anger has been building in America over how Moscow was given free rein to stir divisions in American society through the use of fake ad buying accounts by Facebook at such a critical juncture, sparking calls for increased government regulation of its activities. None of the companies has yet said whether it will accept the invitations.

Twitter's decision to share that information with Congress followed a report by the USA government's top intelligence agencies, which slammed RT in January as the "Kremlin's principal global propaganda outlet".

Some of those same suspicious accounts on Facebook, however, also have ties to another 200 accounts on Twitter, a realization it shared with congressional investigators last week. The company's presentations to staff last week "showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions", he said.

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