Facebook said Wednesday it has disclosed to U.S. authorities that some 3,000 political ads that ran on the social media platform were linked to fake accounts "likely operated out of Russia."
In a blog post, Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos said the "vast majority" did not reference the 2016 presidential election, voting, or a particular candidate.
"Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights," he wrote.
"[W]e 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," Stamos added.
"Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia."
The Washington Post reported Facebook told congressional investigators the fake accounts were all linked to the Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm" that uses social media operations to promote Kremlin propaganda.
"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform," Stamos wrote. "We believe in protecting the integrity of civic discourse, and require advertisers on our platform to follow both our policies and all applicable laws. We also care deeply about the authenticity of the connections people make on our platform."
According to The Hill, Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, respectively, have been in talks with Facebook officials as part of their probe of Russia's efforts to influence last year's presidential election.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.