×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

House Democrats Release Over 3,500 Russia-Linked Facebook Ads

House Democrats released over 3,500 ads online Thursday that were purchased by Russia’s Internet Research Agency to interfere with U.S. politics. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the release was meant to protect the U.S. from similar interference going forward. “Sunlight is always the best disinfectant,” Schiff said in a tweet.

The 3519 ads released by the Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee were purchased by the Internet Research Agency between early 2015 and late 2017. Some of the ads voice support for political candidates including President Trump as well as Bernie Sanders, while others oppose Trump, or support causes like Black Lives Matter and LGBT rights.

Russia sought to divide us by our race, our country of origin, our religion, and our politics,” said Schiff. “They attempted to hijack legitimate events meant to do good – teaching self-defense, providing legal aid – as well as those events meant to widen a rift.”

The link between these ads and Russia’s Internet Research Agency was first reported last fall, when Facebook acknowledged that the agency had spent about $100,000 in its attempts to boost its messages on the social network. Democrats had released a small subset of these ads last November.

Facebook also told lawmakers last year that more than 11.4 million people in the U.S. had been exposed to these ads. However, Russia’s disinformation campaign didn’t stop with paid content. Facebook pages linked to the Internet Research Agency also created around 80,000 regular posts, which are estimated to have reached more than 126 million Americans. House Democrats said Thursday that they planned to release these 80,000 posts in the future as well.

In a response to Thursday’s release, Facebook published a blog post that reiterated some of the steps the company is talking to prevent such abuse in the future. However, the post also acknowledged that the company could not completely rule out future disinformation campaigns: “This will never be a solved problem because we’re up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries. But we are making steady progress.”

More Digital

  • Dave Finocchio - Bleacher Report

    Bleacher Report Co-Founder Dave Finocchio to Exit This Summer

    Dave Finocchio is leaving Turner’s Bleacher Report, the millennial-skewing digital sports company he co-founded in 2005 and led as CEO for the last three years. With Finocchio set to exit in June, Turner Sports has named Howard Mittman as CEO of Bleacher Report to replace him. Finocchio hired Mittman, who has held a dual role [...]

  • The-Daily-Show-With-Trevor-Noah

    Viacom Inks Deal With FuboTV Streaming Service

    Viacom reached a distribution deal with FuboTV, which will soon add an array of the conglomerate’s networks — including Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon — to its live TV internet streaming service. Viacom is now on four “virtual pay-TV” platforms: Dish Network’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Philo and FuboTV. Viacom remains absent from [...]

  • CBS Taps Canvs Platform to Analyze

    CBS Turns to Artificial Intelligence to Glean Viewers' Emotional Responses to TV Shows

    CBS’s research team is getting a faster read on how viewers respond emotionally to its TV shows — by using the dispassionate logic of machines. The broadcaster is using the data-analytics platform developed by New York startup Canvs, which uses proprietary artificial-intelligence processing to parse natural-language comments. CBS started using the Canvs Surveys tool to [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, DreamWorks Animation claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content