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lyria

Russian firm tied to pro-Kremlin propaganda advertised on Facebook dur

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lyria

Russian firm tied to pro-Kremlin propaganda advertised on Facebook during election

 

By Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman

Washington Post

 

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.

 

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

 

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said, although they declined to say which candidate the ads favored.

 

Most of the ads, according to a blog post published late Wednesday by Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, “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.”

 

The acknowledgment by Facebook comes as congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are probing Russian interference in the U.S. election, including allegations that the Kremlin may have coordinated with the Trump campaign.

 

The U.S. intelligence community concluded in January that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election to help elect Trump, including by using paid social media trolls to spread fake news intended to influence public opinion.

 

Even though the ad spending from Russia is tiny relative to overall campaign costs, the report from Facebook that a Russian firm was able to target political messages is likely to fuel pointed questions from investigators about whether the Russians received guidance from people in the United States — a question some Democrats have been asking for months.

 

Facebook reported in its blog post Wednesday that about one-quarter of the ads in question were “geographically targeted,” although company officials declined to provide specifics about what areas or demographic groups were the recipients. Of those targeted ads, the company said, more ran in 2015 than 2016.

 

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that the disclosure by Facebook confirmed one of the ways Russia sought to interfere in U.S. politics and serves as a “profound warning to us and others about future elections.”

 

“This is a very significant set of data points produced by Facebook,” Schiff said, adding: “Left unanswered in what we received from Facebook — because it is beyond the scope of what they are able to determine — is whether there was any coordination between these social media trolls and the campaign. We have to get to the bottom of that.”

 

Remainder of article here.

 

----------------

 

It is good to see confirmation from someone not in US intelligence, but damn. We should all take this as a lesson for next election; to be careful about who buys ad space and to be discerning in our own reading.

 

It is worth reiterating that the presence of these ads DOES NOT indicate any sort of coordination between any given campaign and the ad buyer. Sowing chaos during a vulnerable time is enough of a motivation.

Edited by lyria

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Mrdirt73

What's really telling is that they declined to tell which side the ads supported, or specifically what areas of the country they targeted. It's obvious that it was all pro-Trump, and Facebook is just covering for him as long as they can right?

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lyria

What's really telling is that they declined to tell which side the ads supported, or specifically what areas of the country they targeted. It's obvious that it was all pro-Trump, and Facebook is just covering for him as long as they can right?

 

My assumption is that Facebook doesn't want to step into that particular mess by pointing out which side, if any, the ads favored.

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ThePatriot

"although they declined to say which candidate the ads favored."

 

Obviously, the only reason they declined to say which candidate the ads favored were because they favored Clinton and that would go against the "Trump/Russia" leftwing narrative...

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lyria

Isn't it bad enough that this happened at all?

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MontyPython

Isn't it bad enough that this happened at all?

 

Yes, I agree. The fact that this happened at all is bad enough.

 

Nonetheless, previous posters have it right: IF these ads had favored Trump, Hard-Core-Left-Wing Facebook would be falling all over themselves making that crystal clear.

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Mrdirt73

Yes, I agree. The fact that this happened at all is bad enough.

 

Nonetheless, previous posters have it right: IF these ads had favored Trump, Hard-Core-Left-Wing Facebook would be falling all over themselves making that crystal clear.

Is it bad that they did it? Sure. Isn't it worse that there are Americans that are dumb enough to believe anything they read on Facebook?

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ThePatriot

Isn't it bad enough that this happened at all?

Isn't it expected?

 

We interfere with elections all over the world to try to influence the outcome towards the candidate we prefer.

 

Russia has been doing the same for just as long.

 

Does this really come as a surprise? I don't think so.

 

The real story here isn't that Russia put out propaganda to influence the election, no, the real story is that they supported Clinton and not Trump.

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gravelrash
The U.S. intelligence community concluded in January that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election to help elect Trump, including by using paid social media trolls to spread fake news intended to influence public opinion.

 

Ehhhhh... not really. Their stated opinions were that Russia might have interfered.

 

Is it bad that they did it? Sure. Isn't it worse that there are Americans that are dumb enough to believe anything they read on Facebook?

 

Bingo. Though I find it hilarious that the Russians spent only $100,000 while the Democrats spent $1.2 billion betting on Hillary?. We're far enough removed from the results of the election to get to the truth of all this "collusion" and "hacking". Everything points to the Democrats, the media, and now the Russians all backing the wrong whore horse.

 

And to Patriot's point, he is absolutely correct. This is nothing new. It's the simple fact that the witch lost that keeps this story alive.

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searcher

Isn't it expected?

 

We interfere with elections all over the world to try to influence the outcome towards the candidate we prefer.

 

Russia has been doing the same for just as long.

 

Does this really come as a surprise? I don't think so.

 

The real story here isn't that Russia put out propaganda to influence the election, no, the real story is that they supported Clinton and not Trump.

 

 

:yeahthat:

 

So true. I can't believe so many people (nah, it's easy to believe) get their panties in a wad because someone may have tried to mess with our elections. I'd be stunned if nobody did. It's funny that so many get so bent over something we've been doing to others for so long.

Mark

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lyria

Is it bad that they did it? Sure. Isn't it worse that there are Americans that are dumb enough to believe anything they read on Facebook?

 

I can't argue with that! The collective intelligence of my fellow Americans has had me concerned for my entire life. And just when I think it's hit a low point, I read about something else that indicates that our collective stupidity has fallen still.

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lyria

Yes, I agree. The fact that this happened at all is bad enough.

 

Nonetheless, previous posters have it right: IF these ads had favored Trump, Hard-Core-Left-Wing Facebook would be falling all over themselves making that crystal clear.

 

Assuming Facebook's motivations for failing to specify the direction to which these adds trended are political, which I am not convinced that they are, then I do agree it would most likely favor the left.

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lyria

Isn't it expected?

 

We interfere with elections all over the world to try to influence the outcome towards the candidate we prefer.

 

Russia has been doing the same for just as long.

 

Does this really come as a surprise? I don't think so.

 

The real story here isn't that Russia put out propaganda to influence the election, no, the real story is that they supported Clinton and not Trump.

 

Expected, yes. But the real story is that it happened, not that it was attempted. If it could be tied to a campaign actively (not supporting a campaign via the trolling), that would be big, big news. Even without that though, this discovery provides an opportunity to learn lessons for the future, to mitigate future attempts and (hopefully) produce a wiser consumer of news.

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ThePatriot

Expected, yes. But the real story is that it happened, not that it was attempted.

The real story is that it happened? Are you kidding me? I couldn't disagree more. Russia has been putting out propaganda during our elections for longer than I can remember. it would be a bigger story if they DIDN'T do something than if they did.

 

No, the story, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves, is that they preferred Clinton to Trump.

 

If it could be tied to a campaign actively (not supporting a campaign via the trolling), that would be big, big news. Even without that though, this discovery provides an opportunity to learn lessons for the future, to mitigate future attempts and (hopefully) produce a wiser consumer of news.

That ain't gonna happen.

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MontyPython

Assuming Facebook's motivations for failing to specify the direction to which these adds trended are political, which I am not convinced that they are, then I do agree it would most likely favor the left.

Expected, yes. But the real story is that it happened, not that it was attempted. If it could be tied to a campaign actively (not supporting a campaign via the trolling), that would be big, big news. Even without that though, this discovery provides an opportunity to learn lessons for the future, to mitigate future attempts and (hopefully) produce a wiser consumer of news.

 

That's exactly the point: It would indeed be big, big news; News that would throw egg in the face(s) of Democrats, specifically because of their determined and unflagging attempts to smear Trump with their long-debunked "Russia" BS. And there's just plain no chance whatsoever that Facebook would do anything to hurt or embarrass Democrats.

 

B)

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firecoco

I can't argue with that! The collective intelligence of my fellow Americans has had me concerned for my entire life. And just when I think it's hit a low point, I read about something else that indicates that our collective stupidity has fallen still.

Don't be so hard on yourself

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lyria

That's exactly the point: It would indeed be big, big news; News that would throw egg in the face(s) of Democrats, specifically because of their determined and unflagging attempts to smear Trump with their long-debunked "Russia" BS. And there's just plain no chance whatsoever that Facebook would do anything to hurt or embarrass Democrats.

 

B)

 

Publicly, I think it unlikely. However, if they testify.....

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Ticked@TinselTown

Yes, I agree. The fact that this happened at all is bad enough.

 

Nonetheless, previous posters have it right: IF these ads had favored Trump, Hard-Core-Left-Wing Facebook would be falling all over themselves making that crystal clear.

 

Doesn't Facebook also have paid staff that removes pro Conservative, pro American, pro Christian pages on a consistent basis while extreme leftist pages and pro anti American, anti Conservative, anti Christian pages are protected?

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LSJ

We should all take this as a lesson for next election; to be careful about who buys ad space and to be discerning in our own reading.

 

This should have always been the case. People are far too trusting...

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lyria

We should all take this as a lesson for next election; to be careful about who buys ad space and to be discerning in our own reading.

 

This should have always been the case. People are far too trusting...

 

I could not agree more. Both Facebook and Facebook users/readers were naive.

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Tabla_Man

Expected, yes. But the real story is that it happened, not that it was attempted. If it could be tied to a campaign actively (not supporting a campaign via the trolling), that would be big, big news. Even without that though, this discovery provides an opportunity to learn lessons for the future, to mitigate future attempts and (hopefully) produce a wiser consumer of news.

 

 

Um no, not really. The only story here is that a Russian firm bought ads on facebook that named both of the Presidential candidates. The 800-Pound gorilla is that there's no evidence in this story connecting Trump or people tied to trump to this firm. Yes if there's evidence that can show proof of funds going directly from Trump or Trump officials to this firm, that would be a smoking gun, but that's not what we're talking about here.

 

This is just more of the same BS guilt by association the media has been peddling since the election. There's no evidence, just accusations.

 

Once again, I go back to the fact that no one said a damn thing when the Obama Administration interfered in the Israeli election.

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Dean Adam Smithee

Isn't it expected?

 

We interfere with elections all over the world to try to influence the outcome towards the candidate we prefer.

 

Russia has been doing the same for just as long.

 

Does this really come as a surprise? I don't think so.

 

The real story here isn't that Russia put out propaganda to influence the election, no, the real story is that they supported Clinton and not Trump.

 

:yeahthat:

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gravelrash

Um no, not really. The only story here is that a Russian firm bought ads on facebook that named both of the Presidential candidates. The 800-Pound gorilla is that there's no evidence in this story connecting Trump or people tied to trump to this firm. Yes if there's evidence that can show proof of funds going directly from Trump or Trump officials to this firm, that would be a smoking gun, but that's not what we're talking about here.

 

This is just more of the same BS guilt by association the media has been peddling since the election. There's no evidence, just accusations.

 

Once again, I go back to the fact that no one said a damn thing when the Obama Administration interfered in the Israeli election.

 

Or when Chumpy threatened that the Brits would be "in the back of the line" if they voted for Brexit. He might have been the deciding factor as close as that referendum was.

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Joe the Pagan

Or when Chumpy threatened that the Brits would be "in the back of the line" if they voted for Brexit. He might have been the deciding factor as close as that referendum was.

 

Nigel Farage has publicly thanked 0bama for making enough Brits angry enough to push BREXIT over the top.

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lyria

Um no, not really. The only story here is that a Russian firm bought ads on facebook that named both of the Presidential candidates. The 800-Pound gorilla is that there's no evidence in this story connecting Trump or people tied to trump to this firm. Yes if there's evidence that can show proof of funds going directly from Trump or Trump officials to this firm, that would be a smoking gun, but that's not what we're talking about here.

 

I agree and said as much in the first post. There is nothing here to link these Facebook ads to either campaign. The conversation was about whether they favored one campaign or the other, but that's not the same thing.

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