Russian Backed Facebook Ads Went Beyond Just Boosting Trump in 2016

Accounts linked to the Kremlin bought $150,000 worth of Facebook ads in 2016.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a response last week, pledging to work with Congressional investigators to “make it much harder” for foreign adversaries to interfere with elections.

“We are in a new world,” Zuckerberg said. “It is a new challenge for internet communities to deal with nation-states attempting to subvert elections. But if that’s what we must do, we are committed to rising to the occasion.”

According to Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist and early investor in Facebook, the Russians might not have intended to sow discontent or distrust of the American government––at least, not immediately. He suggests the effort to impact the election might have become more focused as the campaign unfolded.

“Classic Russian intelligence techniques of taking the most extreme voices and amplifying them,” he said. “It was the perfect petri dish for this kind of campaign.”

President Donald Trump attacked Facebook yesterday in a message from his personal Twitter account, accusing the company of colluding with The New York Times and The Washington Post, two news organizations which have readily opposed him. The president has gone on record many times in an attempt to discredit the Russia probe, often decrying it as “fake news.”

Executives from Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter have been asked to testify before the U.S. Congress in the coming weeks as the probe intensifies. A Senate aide confirmed that executives from all three companies have been asked to appear at a public hearing on November 1.

Representatives for Facebook and Google confirmed they had received invitations from the Senate Intelligence Committee, but did not say whether the companies would attend. Twitter could not be reached for comment.

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