On Wednesday, Facebook admitted to congressional investigators that it had sold ads during the 2016 presidential campaign to a Russian company seeking to “geographically target” key voters in swing counties, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings, reports The Washington Post.
“Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda,” WaPo says.
According to a blog post on late Wednesday by Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, the ads “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.”
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, as well as several congressional committees, are probing Russian interference in the U.S. election and whether the Kremlin coordinated with the Trump campaign.
“Left unanswered in what we received from Facebook — because it is beyond the scope of what they are able to determine — is whether there was any coordination between these social media trolls and the campaign. We have to get to the bottom of that,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference.