Russians bought FB ads aimed at fueling 'divisive messages' during US Prez polls

Pic for representation/AFP
Pic for representation/AFP

Hundreds of fake Facebook accounts, probably run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 US presidential election, the social network said.

The 470 accounts appeared to come from a notorious “troll farm,” a St. Petersburg-based organization known for promoting pro-Russian government positions via fake accounts, according to two people familiar with the investigation.
In all, the accounts purchased some 3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017.

While the ads didn’t specifically reference the election, a candidate or voting, they nevertheless allowed “divisive messages” to be amplified via the social media platform, the company’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, said in a statement. Facebook turned over its findings to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Accounts from Russian ‘troll farm’ that bought the ads

No. of ads bought by the accounts between June 2015 and May 2017

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