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Facebook Says Sold Political Ads To Russian Company in 2016 Election

07 September 2017

Facebook says an internal investigation has found $100,000 in advertising spending by hundreds of fake accounts and pages likely operated out of Russian Federation that sought to sow political division during the usa presidential election.

The news was announced in a blog post by Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos, who said: "There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 United States election about Russian interference in the electoral process".

The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the matter, said the social network determined that the $100,000 in ads were sold to a Russian "troll farm" that has a history of promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda.

Facebook has told investigators that it discovered thousands of political ads published on its platform over the past two years were linked to fake accounts based in Russian Federation.

Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, said the accounts were connected to each other and "likely operated out of Russia".

Stamos said on Wednesday that Facebook has shared its latest findings with USA authorities investigating Russia's interference in the election.

The acknowledgment by Facebook follows months of criticism that the social media company served as a platform for the spread of false information before the November election.

Following its April post-mortem on its platform's role in the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook is out with some juicy new details.

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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".

"Our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content, so we won't be releasing any ads", the official said.

Facebook said it was trying.

"Whoever may have provided assistance to Russian Federation in buying these Facebook ads is very likely in violation of the law", he said.

Another $50,000 went to about 2,200 "potentially politically related" ads and might have been bought by Russians in potential violation of US election law.

Facebook has been under the microscope for months to explain how its platform was exploited during the last presidential campaign.

Facebook has been stepping up its fight against fake news and misinformation following the US election, but the tech firm acknowledges there's more to do. The entity was called the Internet Research Agency.

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

Facebook Says Sold Political Ads To Russian Company in 2016 Election