March 18 2018

Wisconsin, Michigan were key targets of Russia-linked ads on Facebook

March 18 2018, 05:10 | Frederick Owens

Wisconsin, Michigan were key targets of Russia-linked ads on Facebook

Wisconsin, Michigan were key targets of Russia-linked ads on Facebook

Senate intelligence chairman Richard Burr said Monday he won't be the one who makes the Russian-linked Facebook election ads public.

Some of the Russian-linked Facebook "fake news" that tried to exploit wedge issues during last year's USA election was specifically targeting swing states, according to a new report. In the case of the fake ads bought by Russia, Mark Zuckerberg and his team's negligence doomed the United States to four years of a Trump presidency.

Facebook on Monday gave Congress copies of the 3,000 political ads that were purchased by Russian-linked accounts.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the Facebook F8 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S. on April 12, 2016.

However, more than half of the Americans exposed to the ads on Facebook saw them they had cast their votes on November 8. What's more, they have not reportedly been banned from advertising on the platform.

If you recall from election night, the States of MI and Wisconsin were two of the closest races in the entire nation.

Most of the ads focused on divisive political and social issues, like LGBTQ matters, race, immigration and gun rights. They were used to get people to follow Facebook pages.

"I'll reserve judgment, I'll see what they are".

Why couldn't they be stopped?

Schrage also said it's possible there are more ads that they haven't found.

On Monday, the world's biggest social platform announced plans to hire an additional 1000 employees to review ad submissions, along with other new policies and procedures created to improve the transparency of Facebook's advertising.

Why didn't the rubles tip Facebook off?

Members from both parties said that there was a clear sophistication in the Russian ad campaign, and they said they were only just beginning to learn the full extent of the social media efforts. Currency alone isn't a good way of identifying suspicious activity, because the overwhelming majority of advertisers who pay in Russian currency, like the overwhelming majority of people who access Facebook from Russia, aren't doing anything wrong.

Nor does Facebook stop foreign organizations from buying ads in countries outside their homes.

"So, we're just looking at the tip of the iceberg".

Is there ever 100 percent "safety"? Direct threats, shocking content and the sale or promotion of weapons are already prohibited - but it will now forbid ads with even "more subtle expressions of violence". "We take responsibility for what happens on our platform and we will do everything we can keep our community safe from interference".

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