Facebook Accuses A Russian-Based Operation Of Funding U.S Ads With Political Message
Facebook made its statement on Wednesday, blaming an operation likely based in Russia for deliberately spearheading divisive political and social messages. The operation allegedly spent about $100,000 on a large number of U.S. ads in a two-year-period through May.
This company revealed that 470 “inauthentic” accounts and 3,000 ads had been spreading polarizing views on sensitive subjects including gay rights, immigration and race. Asides from that, it channeled another $50,000 on 2,200 “potentially politically related” ads, most probably by Russians.
U.S. election law is greatly opposed to any foreign entity and foreign national with the intention of spending money to advocate the defeat or election of a particular candidate. However, there is no problem with the Non-U.S citizens advertising on issues. Lawyers usually use the term gray area in making reference to those specific ads that mention a candidate, but do not proceed to advocate for candidate’s defeat or election.
The social media giant through a blog post announced its findings. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s security officer outlined that the company was cooperating with federal inquiries in a bid to influence operations during the 2016 U.S presidential election.
On Wednesday, the provider had a word with both the House of Representatives intelligence committees and the senate. It addressed the two about the Russian advertising in particular. The two committees have lately been conducting probes into the alleged Russian interference that is believed to have tilted the 2016 U.S. election. There have been claims that there was indeed a collusion between Moscow and the heated up campaign of President Donald Trump.
Robert Mueller is the special counsel that was entrusted with conducting investigations into the alleged Russian interference that impacted the outcome in the last year’s U.S presidential election. This counsel thanked Facebook for serving him with its findings, which he believes will help him a lot in coming around to some important conclusions. The provider is said to have produced data about the buyers as well as advertisements.
Representative Adam Schiff opined, “We are keenly interested in Russia’s use of social media platforms, both the use of bots and trolls to spread disinformation and propaganda.”