Russia-linked groups bought $50000 in political Facebook ads

Russia-linked groups bought $50000 in political Facebook ads

In a statement, Facebook said it found "roughly 3,000" ads connected to 470 inauthentic accounts and pages it believes were "affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation".

Facebook accounts with apparent Russian ties purchased about $150,000 in political ads aimed at American voters during key periods of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the social networking company.

In total, Facebook found about 3,000 suspicious ads, which generated $100,000 in revenue, that ran between June 2015 and May 2017.

The accounts in question have now been shut down, Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos added.

Beyond the issue ads, Facebook said it uncovered another $50,000 in political advertising that might have a link to Russian Federation. Mr Zuckerberg dismissed the notion that "fake news" on Facebook swayed the election as "crazy".

Most of the political ads that Facebook discovered didn't reference the USA presidential election, voting or a specific candidate.

Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos gives a keynote address during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas Nevada
Image Facebook's Alex Stamos says the fake accounts have been shut down

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".

The advertisements directed users towards around 470 accounts that spread false information or were otherwise in breach of Facebook's terms and conditions, the site said.

"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform", he said.

The social network said it also uncovered $50,000 more in ads clearly of a political nature that might have links to Russian Federation. The entity was called the Internet Research Agency. That race remains under investigation for potential collusion between Trump's team and a Russian government that USA intelligence agencies stated earlier this year had a "clear preference" for the Republican.

Under federal law and Federal Election Commission regulations, both foreign nationals and foreign governments are prohibited from making contributions or spending money to influence a federal, state or local election in the United States.

Not all politically-related advertising by foreigners is illegal in America.

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