US Democrats release 3500 Russian Facebook ads

A Facebook ad linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process released by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee in February

Notice, though, that none of the most popular ads are specifically political, talking about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Numerous ads were purchased by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency.

The ads, made available for the public to review, show how many Facebook users they reached, and how much Russians paid for the posts.

Some ads created to appeal to critics of immigration were targeted to users who liked specific Fox News hosts or showed interest in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, "Old Glory" and the United States Constitution, among other words.

3519 ads from Russian-backed groups show the level of Russia's disruption of United States politics on social media platform Facebook.

Some of the most divisive ads capitalized on the political movement Black Lives Matter and hot button political issues including immigration, gun control, the religion of Islam, and LGBT-centric topics.

Others were more narrowly targeted. There was no explanation as to why that was. Together, these ads cost 8,700 rubles, or $140, and gathered almost 27,000 impressions. But the same ad got 163 clicks when targeted at those interested in Syria, the Republican Party or politics.

In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, is shown with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has denied interfering in the election.

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As the Russians attempted to pose as Americans, their language sometimes hinted at their origin.

Another opposed immigrants who "should prove that they are deserved to stay in the United States". And the idea was always to push division, as seen by tactics like flooding Facebook with ads from groups like "Black Matters" after Dylann Roof murdered nine black people at a church in Charleston, SC.

The "Internet Research Agency", which is either a vast criminal conspiracy that tilted the 2016 election or a hodgepodge collection of irrelevant shit-posters, depending on your perspective, apparently spent most of their time targeting two specific but very different groups: "Black Lives Matter", and devotees of Sean Hannity.

An April 2017 Facebook ad promoting free self-defense classes in Tampa carried a tings of racial tension, a logo showing a clenched fish with the words "BLACK FIST". For that reason the Russian effort has been called a campaign of mass trolling. There has been no evidence that Trump's campaign was in any way associated with the social media effort. On Thursday morning, it released every single purchased ad. Several depict Clinton behind bars.

The propaganda continued after the election, according to the documents released Thursday.

They even managed to spread news of an anti-Beyonce rally in New York City.

In many cases, the Kremlin-tied ads took multiple sides of the same issue.

In a conference earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the corporation would now actively verify the authors of political advertisements.

For example, on June 6th 2016 Russian trolls ran and ad for a "Justice for Alton Sterling" rally in Baton Rouge via the group "Don't Shoot".

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