Lawmakers released some ads purchased on Facebook and Instagram by Russian government-linked entities.
Image: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Lawmakers finally disclosed a small sample of the more than 3,000 ads that Russian trolls bought on Facebook and Instagram during the 2016 presidential election. In addition to the ads that lawmakers shared during the House intelligence hearing, the committee published online an additional 14 ads Wednesday, showing a glimpse of the political issues that Russian government trolls tried to harp on to sow divide among Americans and influence the 2016 presidential election.
Some of the ads disparage Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, or promote divisive trends like anti-muslim or anti-immigration sentiment. Some promote rallies and counter-rallies that ended up in real life events.
In early October, Facebook delivered to the Senate and House intelligence committees, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee more than 3,000 ads that the company identified as paid by Russian government-linked entities, such as the Internet Research Agency, a notorious troll farm in St. Petersburg.
Until today, neither Facebook nor the government committees investigating Russian influence in the elections had released any of the controversial ads. Some Russian-backed ads have been disclosed by news organizations such as The New York Times or The Daily Beast. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence also released a list of Russian-linked Twitter accounts.
Here are the 14 ads published today.
Correction: This story originally didn't specify that the House intelligence committee shared more than 14 ads Russian trolls bought on Facebook and Instagram during the 2016 presidential election. The 14 ads included here were not shown during the hearing. The rest of the ads, which were shown during the hearing, can be found here.
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