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Facebook Says Some Russian Ads During 2016 US Campaign Promoted Live Events

13 September, 2017, 14:13 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • An attendee wearing a Donald Trump mask holds up a campaign sign at a campaign rally for Donald Trump 2016 Republican presidential nominee in Moon Township Pennsylvania U.S. on Sunday Nov. 6 2016. Trump and his aides insist his supporters'

Russian agents used Facebook during the 2016 presidential election to promote political protests, including an anti-immigrant rally in Idaho, according to a report on Tuesday.

"The protest in Idaho reportedly focused on a town's Muslim refugees".

Facebook declined to provide details of the promoted events.

Facebook did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment early Tuesday morning, but an unnamed spokesperson told the Daily Beast that the company had "shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week".

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The accounts, which were first reported Monday by the Daily Beast, created event pages with awkward English rhetoric.

One such event identified by the outlet was a 2016 rally in rural Idaho meant to protest the arrival of refugees in the town of Twin Falls.

"We're trying to work through the parameters and figure out where does the hearing take us, what is it we're looking for, and importantly we know it has some value to our investigation", Burr likewise told the Hill.

"I'm disappointed that when Facebook came and presented to the Senate Intel staff, they didn't lay out this incident", Warner said, adding, "It's one of the reasons why I thought last week the Facebook initial presentation was just the tip of the iceberg".

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Although numerous events had already been deleted from Facebook, some remnants still exist in search engine caches. The ads were sometimes politically themed and potentially reached tens of millions of Americans, raising questions about possible links to increasingly well-evidenced allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections-though the total spent ultimately paled in comparison to ad buys by Donald Trump's campaign, and could have ultimately been linked to some kind of marketing operation instead.

Less than a week ago, Facebook revealed it had sold $100,000 worth of ads to inauthentic accounts likely linked to Russian Federation during the United States presidential election.

About 48 people on Facebook expressed an interest in the event while four said they went.

According to the event page, the rally was hosted by "SecuredBorders", a community page on the social media website with 133,000 followers that was used as a Russian front and that has since been closed by Facebook.

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"Releasing those advertisements could allow the country to better understand the nature and extent of foreign interference with our democracy", the center's president, Trevor Potter, wrote.

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