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Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted voters in Michigan, Wisconsin during presidential election

04 October 2017

Facebook turned over information to a U.S. Senate committee earlier this week, suggesting that Russian operatives spent $300,000 on ads before and after the 2016 election cycle.

Twitter said the Russian-backed news site RT, which a USA intelligence report said aimed to meddle in the election, .

It said that 44% of the ads surfaced before the U.S. election.

The company described most of the ads as focusing on "divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum".

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Facebook says the ads cost their posters $100,000, and were seen by 10 million people.

"If you can get a hot post, you can get an extra 20-to-40 times multiplier because of those people commenting and sharing it", he said.

Facebook is now part of an official investigation into Russia's involvement in the U.S. election campaign. In this case, there was no hacking involved, it was just ads being bought through an ad platform; some may have infringed Facebook's rules, but it certainly isn't hacking, at least in this particular case. "Facebook is the antithesis of mass media because you are not getting your message out to as many people as possible, but rather those you think will react to it". In an announcement on Monday, Facebook said it would include more than 1,000 individuals for the following year and put more in programming to wave to and take advertisements naturally. The Russians capitalized this system by designing English-language sites and Facebook pages that approximately impersonated those designed by US political activists.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that the nefarious advertisers used Facebook's custom audiences-sophisticated ad targeting-to try to reach promising targets. However, then both the company and its founder Mark Zuckerberg failed to back their revelations with any solid evidence proving such Russian intervention, saying that they are "limited" in what they can share publicly about the findings. "These ads are timely, relevant and provocative".

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Around 10 million Facebook users saw 3,000 Russia-bought political ads during the campaign, the platform announced Monday.

Facebook said about half of the ads were seen after the election, and one quarter were never shown to anyone. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel - have said they believe the American public should see them.

He also made clear that the company was working with other major social networks like Twitter and Google "on a range of elements related to this investigation".

Shouldn't you stop foreigners from meddling in USA social issues?The right to speak out on global issues that cross borders is an important principle. He also maintains an "Outperform" rating on Facebook (FB) stock and predicts the social network will generate $39.9 billion in 2017 revenues, largely from advertising - an estimate that remains unchanged in light of Facebook being in the news.

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Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted voters in Michigan, Wisconsin during presidential election