Facebook: Fake accounts linked to Russian Federation bought political ads during United States election

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"There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 U.S. election about Russian interference in the electoral process".

The behavior displayed by these accounts to amplify divisive messages was consistent with the techniques mentioned in the white paper we released in April about information operations.

Facebook says an internal investigation has found $100,000 in advertising spending by hundreds of fake accounts and pages likely operated out of Russian Federation that sought to sow political division during the US presidential election.

"One question that has emerged is whether there's a connection between the Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook", Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer, said in a statement.

Facebook says it has discovered a Russian-funded campaign to promote divisive social and political messages on its network. The ads violated Facebook's policies, and the company said it had shut down the 470 pages and accounts associated with them. Examples of the topics they touched on included immigration, gun rights, LGBTQ issues and race concerns. Perhaps most interesting is the revelation that bots aren't actually responsible for most of this stuff - the bulk of it appears to be non-automated, coordinated campaigns by human actors.

Beyond the 470 fake accounts responsible for the spending, the company found another $50,000 in political ad spending by accounts associated with USA internet addresses but with the language set to Russian.

Facebook have revealed that hundreds of Russian accounts paid for political adverts on the social media platform during the U.S. 2016 presidential election campaign.

Facebook is remaining tight lipped about the methods it used to identify the fraudulent accounts and Pages that it has since suspended.

Facebook was widely criticized in the wake of the election for its role in the proliferation of so-called fake news, which many believed help Donald Trump win the election.

An official familiar with Facebook's internal investigation said the company does not have the ability to determine whether the ads it sold represented any sort of coordination.

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