Facebook says it sold ads to Russian 'troll farm' during 2016 campaign

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

In a statement Wednesday, Facebook said it discovered about $100,000 of its ad spending came from "inauthentic accounts" that were likely operated out of Russian Federation from June 2015 to May 2017.

Facebook says the ad buys came from 470 "inauthentic" accounts and pages that seemed affiliated with each other and appeared to be operating from Russian Federation. Facebook said in July that it had found "no evidence that Russian actors bought ads on Facebook in connection with the 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.

Facebook did not specify whether these were traditional advertisements or sponsored posts, but said they were meant to amplify "divisive social and political messages" ranging from "LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights".

Most noteworthy given the public's intense interest in all things Russian is the fact that potential pro-Kremlin entities apparently purchased as much as $150,000 in political ads on the platform between 2015 and 2017.

The Washington Post, which first reported the news, described the ad operation as a "troll farm" and said it sought to target USA voters.

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"Our analysis suggests these accounts and pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation", it said. The company has also begun blocking ads from pages and accounts that repeatedly share fake news and misinformation. The majority of the ads did not reference the USA presidential election, voting or a specific candidate.

President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have denied meddling in the USA election.

"Our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content, so we won't be releasing any ads", the official said.

"In this part of our review, we found approximately $50,000 in potentially politically-related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads".

"We know we need to remain watchful to keep in front of individuals who attempt to abuse our stage", Mr Stamos composed.

News of Facebook's discovery came on the same day Facebook was accused of inflating its advertising reach.

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