Facebook Found 3,000 Russia-Linked Election Ads. Now House Democrats Are Planning to Release Them
Ever wondered what those Facebook ads Kremlin-linked groups ran during the 2016 presidential election looked like?
Soon you can find out. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to release 3,000 of them, giving the biggest illustration to date of how Facebook (FB) was used in an attempt to manipulate citizens during the election.
The ads may be released as early as this week, according to The Wall Street Journal, but first Facebook and Democrats must determine what and how much user data will be retracted ahead of the release.
“We have been in ongoing discussions with Facebook and hope to have the final redacted ads in our possession within a matter of days,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the effort, told The Hill on Sunday. “As soon as we receive them, it is our intention to share them with the public.”
The ads have been in Congress’ possession since last year, at which time they made fewer than 50 available to the public. Facebook had identified the extent of the ads as of last September. It found 470 accounts linked to the Internet Research Company, “that bought the 3,000 ads during a two-year period intended to amplify social and political tensions during and after the 2016 presidential elections,” according to The WSJ.
Despite the abundance of ads created, Facebook has claimed that only 75% of those reached an audience—25% of the ads were allegedly never shown to users.