Russia-linked groups bought $50000 in political Facebook ads

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In a statement, Facebook said it found "roughly 3,000" ads connected to 470 inauthentic accounts and pages it believes were "affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation".

Facebook says the ad buys came from 470 "inauthentic" accounts and pages that seemed affiliated with each other and appeared to be operating from Russian Federation.

According to Stamos, the "vast majority" of the ads in question did not explicitly mention candidate names or the presidential race itself.

Most noteworthy given the public's intense interest in all things Russian is the fact that potential pro-Kremlin entities apparently purchased as much as $150,000 in political ads on the platform between 2015 and 2017.

Stamos said on Wednesday that Facebook has shared its latest findings with USA authorities investigating Russia's interference in the election.

Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, said the accounts were connected to each other and "likely operated out of Russia".

Facebook and other internet giants have been cracking down on "fake news" after being hit with criticism that rampant spread of bogus stories influenced the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. It is a violation of Facebook policy to create an "inauthentic accounts" on the platform.

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Facebook told congressional investigators that it sold ads to a Russian company seeking to target younger voters during the 2016 presidential election, potentially manipulating their vote.

The latest review expanded on a report released in April by Facebook on the use of "fake news" and "false amplification" on the social network aimed at manipulating political discussion.

In Wednesday's post, Mr Stamos went into detail about how the campaign was uncovered. The company was also criticized for not only doing enough to stop the spread of fake news.

"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform", Stamos wrote in the post.

News of Facebook's discovery came on the same day Facebook was accused of inflating its advertising reach.

An investigation this spring looking at purchasers of politically-motivated ads found that about 3,000 ads had digital footprints leading to the Russian company.

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