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Report: Russian Facebook Ads Intended to Sow Division Between Groups

Image: Report: Russian Facebook Ads Intended to Sow Division Between Groups
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 25 Sep 2017 09:23 PM

Some of the 3,000 Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives during the 2016 election and about to be turned over to Congress tried to inflame tensions between social groups, The Washington Post reported Monday.

For example, the Post reported, some of the ads promoted groups like Black Lives Matter, while others warned those same groups posed a dangerous threat. Others ads tried to stir up discord among religious groups — and still others highlighted support for Hillary Clinton among Muslim women, the Post reported.

According to the Post, the Russian hackers worked off evolving lists of racial, religious, political, and economic themes, enabling them to take advantage of the ability to send targeted messages to different Facebook users based on their political and demographic affiliations.

"Their aim was to sow chaos," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the Post. "In many ­cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout."

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, agreed.

"I think the American people should see a representative sample of these ads to see how cynical the Russians were using these ads to sow division within our society," he said, the Post reported.

The company said it has identified at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts.

According to Dennis Yu, chief technology officer for BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on Facebook ads, $100,000 worth of Facebook ads could have been viewed hundreds of millions of times — a concentration that is "very, very powerful."

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Politics
Some of the 3,000 Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives during the 2016 election and about to be turned over to Congress tried to inflame tensions between social groups, The Washington Post reported Monday.
russian, facebook, fake news, black lives matter
264
2017-23-25
Monday, 25 Sep 2017 09:23 PM
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