Facebook ads sought to dupe Americans into following Russian accounts

Congress releases 3,500 Russian-bought Facebook ads

You can see the ads that the House Democrats released here.

The ads are carefully crafted to appear as if they're coming from home-grown Facebook communities, but officials said they were all Russian constructs.

Similarly, after the Dallas police shooting in July 2016, a Russian-controlled Facebook group called "Heart of Texas" - which grew to become the most popular Texas secessionist page on Facebook - posted an ad criticizing President Obama's visit to the state, which was then shared more than 18,000 times.

The intelligence committee Democrats released a sampling of the ads purchased by Russia's Internet Research Agency a year ago, but they are now releasing the full cache of ads that Facebook officials turned over to the panel after acknowledging in September they had discovered the Russian efforts. Numerous ads are partly redacted to protect personal information, Re/Code notes, and don't include so-called "organic" content that the IRA didn't pay to have posted. Below, the ad campaigns initiated in each month from June 2015 to August 2017 that received the most overall clicks. "The only way we can begin to inoculate ourselves against a future attack is to see first-hand the types of messages, themes and imagery the Russians used to divide us".

"More than 11.4 million American users were exposed to those advertisements".

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Special counsel Robert Mueller in February indicted a number of Russians who worked for the Internet Research Agency.

"This will never be a solved problem because we're up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries", Facebook said in a statement after the release of the ads. There has been no evidence that Trumps campaign was in any way associated with the social media effort. Sometimes, Russian trolls also tried to fuel rallies and protests, endeavoring at one point in 2016 to pit Beyonc? fans and critics against each other in New York City. Accounts like United Muslims of America urged viewers in NY in March 2016 to "stop Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims".

The ads, which were purchased for $100,000 but reached almost 150 million people on Facebook alone, have been one of the key factors which have turned the harsh glare of lawmakers onto the tech giants.

Congress revealed some of the ads during House Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian election meddling in November 2017, which showed that the ads specifically used issues like gun control and race to inflame Americans on both sides of the aisle.

The trove of ads released Thursday appears to back the assertion that the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton.

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