Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller data on Russian ads, report says

The post was written by its chief security officer and said that it was cooperating with federal inquiries into influence operations during the presidential election. The ads spread polarizing views on topics including immigration, race and gay rights, rather than backing a particular political candidate, it said.

San Francisco: An internal investigation at Facebook has revealed that fake Russian accounts bought almost $100,000 of political ads during the 2016 USA election campaign. These are serious claims and we've been reviewing a range of activity on our platform to help understand what happened.

In its blog post, Facebook said about 25 percent of the suspect ads were "geographically targeted", and most of those ran in 2015.

In addition to the 470 accounts that appeared to be run from Russia, Stamos said its investigators also discovered an additional $50,000 in spending via 2,200 ads that "might have originated in Russia", even including ads purchased by accounts with IP addresses in the US but set to Russian in the language settings.

"We don't allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and Pages we identified that were still active", he writes.

The social network released a statement on Wednesday, addressing claims that Russian Federation had interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian "troll farm" with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

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Facebook didn't reveal any real info on the specific accounts or ads it uncovered, however, so assessing the legality of what went down from the outside is pretty much impossible at the moment.

According to people familiar with Facebook's findings, company officials told congressional investigators on September 6 that they discovered political ads on its site bought by a Russian company during the 2016 election.

Internal investigations at Facebook also unearthed 470 fraudulent accounts and pages, with links to Russian Federation.

Adam B. Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that Facebook's revelation should be a "profound warning to us and others about future elections". In that review, the company found US$50,000 (RM210,850) spent on 2,200 ads that were potentially political. Warner said that he wants the committee to hear more from Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies about Russian efforts.

Since the United States election, Facebook has been reviewing its role in spreading disinformation.

Furthermore, Facebook gave its findings to Robert Mueller, the special counsel also investigating the connections between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

The statement comes during a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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