These are the most popular Russian Facebook ads from each month

House Intel Committee  Facebook

Shedding more light on foreign efforts to divide Americans before and after the 2016 presidential election, Democrats on the House intelligence committee just published more than 3,000 Facebook ads created to sow discord.

Numerous ads focus on politically divisive topics, like gun control, immigration and LGBTQ issues.

For two years, Russian agents proffered similar ads around issues like racism and causes like Black Lives Matter. Notice, though, that none of the most popular ads are specifically political, talking about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Few, if any, support Clinton.

House lawmakers did not make organic posts on Facebook or Instagram available Thursday, but in a later interview, Schiff said that Democrats are working with Facebook to release as much of that data as possible.

We also included information about whom each ad was meant to target. There was no explanation as to why that was. A January 2016 ad that promised news on "bad" refugees got five clicks when targeted at those interested in immigration or conservatism. A pro-patriotism ad created on June 23, 2015 featuring a stylized drawing of a bald eagle was viewed almost 530,000 times and was clicked on 72,000 times.

Another opposed immigrants who "should prove that they are deserved to stay in the United States". Another read: "Your life matter". Ads were still running in July and August of 2017, weeks before Facebook made the effort public.

Created by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, the ads ran on Facebook and Instagram between 2015 and 2017. The indictment was part of Mueller's larger investigation into Russian intervention in the election and whether Trump's campaign was involved.

"We would like to be able to show the country the full [breadth] of what the Russians were doing on social media to influence the American electorate, so we're continuing to work with Facebook", he said.


Altogether, the Russian trolls spent up to $100,000 on all the ads.

And the barrage of ads continued after the election in November 2016.

They even managed to spread news of an anti-Beyonce rally in New York City.

In many cases, the Kremlin-tied ads took multiple sides of the same issue. One of those ads targeted people with interests in peace, human rights, feminism and pacifism and those who were "likely to engage with political content (liberal)".

You can see the ads that the House Democrats released here.

Social media networks have pledged to vet political ads to prevent this from happening again.

"There's no question that Russian Federation sought to weaponize social media platforms to drive a wedge between Americans, and in an attempt to sway the 2016 election", said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

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