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October 31, 2017

Facebook Admits 126M People Saw Russian-Backed Political Ads

By Дмитрий-5-Аверин (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Facebook ads purchased by a Russian-linked fake news group during last year’s U.S. presidential race were actually seen by 126 million Americans — far more than the 10 million Facebook originally estimated.

The social networking firm also admitted that far more than 3,000 ads were purchased by the Russia-backed group to spread misinformation about the presidential candidates. In fact, roughly 80,000 posts appeared on the site over the course of two years, sources told Reuters.

Twitter, meanwhile, discovered 2,752 accounts linked to Russia, many more than the 201 accounts the microblogging site reported last month.

Google, in a statement on Monday, said it had unearthed $4,700 in ad spending by Russian-linked groups during the election.

Facebook, Google and Twitter representatives have been asked to testify on Nov. 1 in front of a House Intelligence Committee, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The firms must also appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee that day to answer questions on the same issue.

The Senate and House Intelligence committees are both investigating suspicions that Russia actively interfered in the U.S. presidential race to ensure now-president Donald Trump was elected. There have been whispers as well about Trump’s people working together with Russia to make his presidency happen. Both parties have denied the accusations.


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