Facebook says fake Russian accounts bought $100,000 in political ads

According to Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, nearly 500 phony accounts created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency bought nearly 3,000 political ads between 2015 and 2017, a report by The New York Times said.
By Ian Marsh | Sep 08, 2017
Facebook posted a statement Wednesday revealing that fake accounts linked to a Russian company purchased more than $100,000 in targeted political advertising providing fresh evidence supporting claims that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Members of Facebook's staff also briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees on the revelations.

According to Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, nearly 500 phony accounts created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency bought nearly 3,000 political ads between 2015 and 2017, a report by The New York Times said.

Stamos said that although some ads mentioned the two presidential candidates, most were issue-oriented and focused on "divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." About one-quarter of the ads were geographically targeted.

Facebook also said that hundreds of paid social media users linked to Russia had posted negative messages about Hillary Clinton.

Following the briefing, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said he has many more questions for Facebook.

"I think there's a lot more to be discovered, and a lot more transparency that's needed from Facebook, Twitter and other firms," Warner said, as reported by ABC News. "My hope is at some point we even have Facebook and Twitter and some of the other social media firms here for a public hearing."

Whether Americans colluded with the Russians in the advertising campaign is still unknown, Warner added.

Federal law bars foreign governments, companies, and citizens from trying to influence U.S. elections.

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