Russian political Facebook ads were seen by up to 10m Americans


In a new blog post, the social network announced that the majority of the advertisements "focus on divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum".

Around 3,000 ads with political messages from Russian Federation were to be shown on Facebook in course of U.S. presidential election in autumn 2016. It also said that 44 percent of the ads were seen before the November 2016 election and 56 percent were seen afterward. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg responded with a defense of the company's platform as a place for political discourse.

Facebook will hire 1,000 additional people to the internal team that reviews and removes Facebook ads, according to details shared via email with Recode by a Facebook spokesperson.

On Monday, the world's biggest social platform announced plans to hire an additional 1,000 employees to review ad submissions, along with other new policies and procedures created to improve the transparency of Facebook's advertising biz.

The ad was among more than 3,000 delivered to congressional investigators that the company says were bought by 470 accounts and pages controlled by a Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg.

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The social network said it had shut down about 200 accounts linked to a Russian misinformation campaign.

Facebook claimed in a statement that its record, of what the firm last week dubbed as Russian-associated pages, comprised shutting down various marketed events.

Facebook had always been adamant that its platform hadn't been used by Russian Federation to spread propaganda relating to the presidential election, something that it has since had to admit it was wrong about. The company in part blamed its massive scale, claiming that about 8 million people report ads to Facebook on a daily basis. "There are worthwhile uses of ad targeting because they enable people to connect with the things they care about", he wrote.

Schrage, while criticizing the ad buyers for using fake accounts, also said numerous ads otherwise "did not violate our content policies" and could have remained if bought using real accounts.

Ultimately, Facebook will continue to host content that "people will find objectionable, and that we will find objectionable", he continued.