Facebook has been conducting an investigation to ascertain the scope of the advertising campaigns that were apparently run by companies linked to the Russian government. These campaigns are believed to have been used to spread divided social and political messages in the United States before the presidential election last year. Facebook has revealed that some of those ads were displayed on Instagram as well.
The United States Congress is looking into allegations of election manipulation by the Russians. The spread of fake news on the world’s largest social network, Facebook, is believed to have influenced voter opinion in key states. The company has handed over almost 3,000 ads to investigators that are working for Congress.
Facebook has since revealed that more than 10 million people in the United States would have seen those ads that spread divisive messages but that it’s possible that 25 percent of those ads were not seen by anybody. 99 percent of the ads were bought for less than $1,000 and half of those cost less than $3. Nearly $6,700 were spent on ads that appeared on Instagram.
Facebook has also added more controls to screen ads before they go live. These include additional human review and approval for some targeted ads to prevent something like this from happening again.
The world’s largest social network wasn’t the only online medium that was used. Both Twitter and Google have also found evidence of Russian ads on their platforms as well.