Lawmakers Plan to Release Russian-Bought Facebook Ads


"We see the Russian Federation presence on social media metastasizing", said Rep Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, is scheduled to meet with top lawmakers investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election at the Capitol on Wednesday, ABC News has learned. This will be a long talked about topic, and as the investigation unfolds, there will no doubt be more to come. The company has already provided the information of 3000 ads purchased from Russian fake accounts, for which more than $100,000 was spent by the Russian agency to Congress. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, paying $1 billion in cash and stock.

The group will focus its dialogue with Sandberg on Facebook's "diversity tone-deafness", including why the company has no black members of its board of directors, why Facebook allowed communities of to be targeted with its advertising products and who is being held accountable to make sure that such ads don't appear on Facebook in the future.

The investigation is continuing, so there remains a chance that Google may find other ads from Russian-linked accounts, the person said.

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In a statement, a Microsoft spokesman told Gizmodo it had received reports indicating possible involvement and would take appropriate action if it turns out Russians did purchase ads on Bing, though they did not confirm whether it had found anything.

Several independent researchers also have found that the Russian disinformation flowed across platforms and onto the wider Web, taking advantage of technology that allows advertisers to identify potential voters and follow and re-target ads to them based on their political inclinations.

The reason that its disconcerting is around this time past year in 2016 Microsoft were actually informed by Google that a hacking group linked to the Russian government and U.S. political hacks were exploiting a Windows 10 security flaw. New campaigns with ad sets contain targeting options that we feel warrant additional review (such as those associated with topics such as politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues), we will route them for manual review prior to being approved. But last week, the company was reported to be looking into the matter.

Facebook and rival Twitter have agreed to testify publicly in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov 1. Google has not said whether it will accept a similar invitation to do so. Google is continuing to examine its own records and also is sharing data with Facebook.