Developing: Facebook addresses Russian involvement in US elections

The following has not yet been verified. Please improve it by logging in and editing it. If you believe that is not sufficient to solve the problem, please discuss it with the community on the Talk Page. If you think that this article should be removed, please contact [email protected]

On Monday, Facebook handed the details of 3,000 advertisements that were found to have links to Russian-state actors to members of the United States Congress.

It is gradually being discovered that the Kremlin used Facebook as a medium to build electoral support for Donald J. Trump for the 2016 presidential election.

The ads in question did not directly focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, instead it appears that the messaging was geared at widening the racial divides of the US, reports the Washington Post. The social movement Black Lives Matter, for example, was a common theme of the Russian advertising campaign.

Specifics of these Russian-linked ads were not available to the public. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was initially reluctant to release details to Congress after cooperating with special counsel Robert Muller, reports Bloomberg. But on Thursday, Zuckerberg announced on Facebook Live that the social network would include elected officials into the discussion.

“I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity. I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine our democracy,” Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement on September 21.

The New York Times reports that since July Facebook has taken down 470 fake profiles and pages after it was discovered that they were linked to a Russian company known to work with the Kremlin. The pages had over $100,000 worth of ad purchases which focused on deepening racial divides.

End Of Targeting Ads?

A panel of advertising consultants at the Advertising Week New York, an annual trade conference, speculated that Facebook will likely impose regulations on political advertisements going forward, as reported by Reuters.

Facebook and Google made up 20 percent of global advertising revenue last year, with Facebook bringing in $26.9 billion, according to media agency Zenith.

Zuckerberg has committed to monitoring advertisements associated with elections. The same Reuters report states that Facebook has plans to make political ads visible to all users of the platform, removing the ability of political campaigns to reach only relevant audiences.

relevant audiences.

Facebook has pioneered the concept of targeted advertisements. Based off of Facebook profile details, the buyer of an ad is able to select which demographics can see their post. This is useful for political campaigns that are interested in “finding” voters – the tagline for Facebook’s political advertising arm.

Examples Of Russian-Backed Facebook Pages and Profiles

  • Being Patriotic: Taken down in August, this page had over 200,000 followers and even organized in-person rallies, as reported by The Daily Beast.
  • Secured Borders: Taken down in August, this page focused on Muslim refugees in the United States. The Kremlin-linked page also tried to mobilize the town of Twin Falls, Idaho against recently resettled Muslim families in the state, as reported by the New York Times.
  • TODO tags

      Is there a problem with this article? [Join] today to let people know and help build the news.
      • Share

      Subscribe to our newsletter

      Be the first to collaborate on our developing articles

      WikiTribune Open menu Close Search Like Back Next Open menu Close menu Play video RSS Feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Youtube Connect with us on Linkedin Connect with us on Discord Email us