Controversy Continues over Russian Meddling in Facebook Ads

Posted on May 1, 2018 by


During the 2016 presidential election, advertisements flooded Facebook. A good portion of these ads however, were widely distributed by Russian media.

These ads were in favor of current President Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton.

“We basically have the brightest minds of our tech community here, and Russia was able to weaponize your platforms to divide us, to dupe us, and to discredit democracy,” Democratic representative Jackie Speier said.

Many ads that were released were anti-Hillary and pro-Bernie as well. Some of these ads, however, were anti-Trump. Much has been done to ensure that Russian meddling with US political affairs will be halted in the future.

“Russian meddling was more to sew  distrust and chaos in the U.S. political system than to specifically elect Trump,” Vice President of Facebook ads Rob Goldman said.  

In February, three Russian companies and thirteen Russian individuals were charged with developing ads that discredited Hillary Clinton in favor of now President, Donald Trump.

Facebook is currently working on ways to stop foreign ads from surfacing. If an individual wishes to spread an ad, Facebook will send them a postcard with a code that the person will then have to enter to confirm that they live in the USA.

“The policy will only apply to anybody wanting to place an ad that mentions by name a specific candidate running for office. Ads pushing more general political opinions and issues – or even referring to candidates without directly using their names – won’t be affected,” said.

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