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120K Instagrams by Russian election attackers hit 20M Americans

120K Instagrams by Russian election attackers hit 20M Americans
From TechCrunch - November 1, 2017

Facebook detailed the extent of Russias election interference campaign on Instagram today during its second congressional hearing. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said that 120,000 posts by Russian election attackers reached 16 million Americans from October through the election, and the posts reached an additional 4 million Americans prior to October when Facebook has less complete data.

Thats on top of the 126 million Americans reached by Russian election propaganda on Facebook. Its unclear if these two groups overlap, but if not, that would bring the total number to 146 million Americans. Thats a big climb from the original 10 million figure Facebook originally announced as the audience of Russian election interference.

For context, yesterday Twitter said that its investigation had found 2,700 accounts tied to Russia election interference, which was a steep increase from the 200 it initially announced last month. And todayTwitter general counsel Sean Edgett was accused of underreporting the percentage of Twitters users that are bots, which he said was less than 5 percent, but that the Senate Intelligence Committee said outside estimates peg it much higher.

Stretch was bashed by Senator Mark Warner after he failed to unequivocally answer whether accounts taken down for attacking the recent French election had been cross-checked for having also attacked the U.S. presidential election. Stretch has been told to come back with that information. He did admit that the Clinton and Trump campaigns spent a combined $81 million on Facebook ads in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election compared to $46,000 by the Russian Internet Research Agency. So Trump plus Clinton spent 1,760X as much as the IRA.

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