Facebook uncovers Russia operation spent $100k on misinformation adverts

Although Russia denied this…

Facebook has said it has uncovered a misinformation campaign that on its network to promote divisive social and political messages.

The social network giant said that after reviewing ad spend found around $100,000 was spent between June 2015 to May 2017, on roughly 3,000 ads that were connected to 470 inauthentic accounts and pages in violation of our policies, which were likely to be operated out of Russia.

In a blog post Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook said that the ‘vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate.’

But added that: “The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum- touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.”

He said there have been a lot of questions since the 2016 US election about Russian interference in the electoral process and that one question that has emerged is whether there’s a connection between the Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook.

He said these are serious claims and that the company had been reviewing a range of activity on the platform to help understand what happened.

More of the ads ran in 2015 than 2016 and a quarter of them were geographically targeted, he added.

“Our analysis suggests these accounts and pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.

“We don’t allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and pages we identified that were still active.”

Russia has denied any involvement in the election in last year that saw Donald Trump become President of the United States.

Facebook said they have shared their findings with US authorities and will continue to work with them as necessary.

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