Science

Russian political Facebook ads were seen by up to 10m Americans

Russian political Facebook ads were seen by up to 10m Americans

"Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone", Schrage wrote. Those ads have been turned over to congressional investigators as well as Robert Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who's leading an independent probe into the 2016 election.

It looks Russian individuals were able to "divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights", on quite a budget. None of the companies has yet said whether it will accept the invitations.

"We are dedicated to being an open platform for all ideas - and that may sometimes mean allowing people to express views we - or others - find objectionable", Schrage said.

Twitter told Congress last week that it found and took action on roughly 200 accounts on its service after determining they were linked to Russian Federation and sought to interfere in American politics.

Warner criticized Twitter for not sharing more information with Congress, saying the company's findings were merely "derivative" of Facebook's work.

Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky announced his idea Tuesday, a day after Facebook handed over thousands of political ads to congressional committees investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

When Facebook revealed the existence of the ads in early September, after a separate investigation, the company still wasn't entirely confident that they originated with the IRA. Nobody even saw one-quarter of the ads bought by "inauthentic accounts".

At the time, a Facebook employee told The Guardian about unspecified connections between the ads and the IRA.

Some of these ads and other content on Facebook appear to sow division in America and other countries at a time of increasing social unrest. They have recently focused on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media, putting pressure on the companies to turn over more information and release any Russia-linked ads.

Based in St. Petersburg, the IRA is reportedly funded by oligarch restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin-a man with a close relationship to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A message seeking comment from Facebook was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The social network is hiring 1,000 more people for its global ads review teams in the space of the next year, and is "investing more" in machine learning to help with automated flagging for ads.

Facebook said that some of the ads were paid for in Russian currency and "currency alone isn't a good way of identifying suspicious activity, because the overwhelming majority of advertisers who pay in Russian currency, like the overwhelming majority of people who access Facebook from Russia, aren't doing anything wrong".

Behold, the fabled and fearsome Russian intelligence operation that hijacked the U.S. election. He said that it was "the fake news media" which had "the greatest influence over our election".