View Thousands of Russia-Linked Facebook Ads Here
More details regarding Russian-linked Facebook propaganda, crafted to create political discord during the 2016 presidential election, have been made public by a House of Representatives committee. Earlier today, House Intelligence Committee Democrats released thousands of social media ads from 2015 to 2017 that were created by the Internet Research Agency, the Russian-linked entity in question.
The social media ads paid for by the Internet Research Agency comprise a telling medley of political positions and culture war salvos. From liberal Facebook posts supporting Black Lives Matter and LGBT causes, to ads luring conservatives to "like" a Facebook page called “Being Patriotic,” the ads confirm the long-speculated intentions of the Internet Research Agency: to further divide an already bifurcated country.
The ads released, which can be viewed here, include images of each ad and metadata — such as ad impressions, ad clicks, ad spend, and ad creation date, which were compiled by Facebook.
NBC News analyzed the ads and concluded that Facebook likely received an estimated $100,000 from the the Russian organization, for ads that were viewed over 33 million times. In the Senate hearing in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 126 million people on Facebook viewed content by Russian-linked campaigns.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here,” Zuckerberg said in his testimony.
In February, thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities, including the Internet Research Agency, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
"The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in the announcement.
The alleged activities conducted the Internet Research Agency began as early as 2014; the organization reportedly registered as a Russian entity in 2013. The details of the indictment alleged those indicted organized in-person rallies and created trending hashtags like the #Hillary4Prison.
The goal of the defendants, according to the document, was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election."
“Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ('Trump Campaign') and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” the document reads.
The ads released on Thursday indeed corroborate that notion.