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Facebook sold more than $100,000 in political ads to a Russian company during the 2016 election

Facebook sold more than $100,000 in political ads to a Russian company during the 2016 election
From TechCrunch - September 6, 2017

Following its April post-mortem on its platforms role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook is out with some juicy new details. Most noteworthy given the publics 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.

As Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos explained in a blog post:

There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 US election about Russian interference in the electoral process. In April we published a white paper that outlined our understanding of organized attempts to misuse our platform. One question that has emerged is whether theres a connection between the Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook. These are serious claims and weve been reviewing a range of activity on our platform to help understand what happened.

In reviewing the ads buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017associated with roughly 3,000 adsthat was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies. Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.

In addition to that $100,000, another $50,000 in political ad spending is thought to have loose connections to Russia that suggest Russian origins, including ads bought from accounts with US IP addresses but with the language set to Russian.

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