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Facebook hands over Russian ad details to Mueller

WT24 Desk

After revealing that fake Russian accounts bought nearly $100,000 of political ads during the 2016 US presidential election campaign on its platform, Facebook has handed over more details to American Special Counsel Robert Mueller,IANS reports.

According to a Wall Street Journal report late Friday, “the information Facebook shared with Mueller included copies of the ads and details about the accounts that bought them and the targeting criteria they used”.

The ads and accounts 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 social networking giant had earlier said.

“There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 US election about Russian interference in the electoral process,” said Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, in a blog post.

A TechCrunch report said: “It’s likely that Facebook was compelled to turn over the information because the investigating team received a search warrant.”

In the blog post, Stamos said: “In reviewing the ad buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 — associated with roughly 3,000 ads—that was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies.”

The Facebook analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia. “We don’t allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and Pages we identified that were still active,” Stamos added.

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