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

  • Colin Kroll Dead Vine Obit

    HQ Trivia and Vine Co-Founder Colin Kroll Dies at 34

    Colin Kroll, co-founder of the Vine video app and the HQ Trivia game, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment early Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, Variety has confirmed. He was 34. New York Police Department officers responded at 12:18 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, to a call by a woman concerned about Kroll’s well-being. [...]

  • Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA Signs Gaming Influencers Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA has signed two popular live-streaming battle royale gamers — Nicholas Amyoony, better known as Nick Eh 30, and David Steinberg, aka StoneMountain64 — for representation. CAA said it will work to create opportunities for Nick Eh 30 (above left) and StoneMountain64 (above right) in all areas, including TV, motion pictures, touring, digital distribution and [...]

  • Amazon Adds NBA League Pass to

    Amazon Adds NBA League Pass Live-Streaming Games to Prime Video Channels

    Amazon is bringing pro hoops action to Prime Video Channels: The ecommerce giant now offers NBA League Pass as part of its lineup of 150-plus subscription options for Prime members in the U.S. It’s the first U.S. live-sports subscription service on Prime Video Channels. Prime members can subscribe to NBA League Pass via Prime Video [...]

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

    International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say

    A five-member international hacking crime ring stole more than 25,000 files for Hollywood movies and TV shows and illegally offered hundreds of them for sale online, according to U.S. law enforcement officials. A federal grand jury in L.A. on Wednesday (Dec. 12) indicted five men, identified as residing in the U.K., India, Dubai and Malaysia, [...]

  • Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president

    Apple to Update iPhones in China to Avoid Sales Ban

    Apple is pushing out a software update to iPhones in China to address a recent court order obtained by Qualcomm that banned the sale of certain iPhone models in the country. The update will allow the company to continue selling its phones in China, company representatives told Reuters Friday morning. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court [...]

  • Kevin Reilly Variety Cover

    Kevin Reilly Named Content Chief for WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Kevin Reilly — a veteran television exec who has led programming at NBC, FX, Fox, and most recently Turner Broadcasting — has been tapped to head content strategy for the still-nascent streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch next year. Reilly, who has led programming at Turner brands TNT and TBS since 2015, will serve [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content