Facebook Reveals 2016 Election Russian Interference Via Ad Buying

Facebook published new evidence as it relates to Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

In a post published by Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer said, “In reviewing the ad buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 — associated with roughly 3,000 ads — that was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies. Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.”

Stamos goes on to say the efforts did not focus on a particular candidate but rather on topics like LGBT matters, race issues, immigration and gun rights.

While the dollar amounts are small, the impact may have been significant.

Outlets like The Verge are saying we can’t trust the Facebook story to assess the true impact due to “Facebook’s inconsistent statements, its history of errors in reporting on its own ad platform, and its reluctance to share relevant data about Russian hacking have added to its credibility gap.”

See the full NYTimes piece here and the Vox follow-up piece here.