Facebook has informed that a Russian company that created fake accounts and pages purchased advertisements worth $100,000 during the US presidential election campaign. Facebook has traced the origin of the page that purchased the ads. The page is registered to a fake account in Russia named "troll farm". The page has a history of promoting Russian propaganda. The ads promoting posts on the page started running from 2015.
The page advertised posts that were focused on sensitive issues. The posts were directed majorly at polarizing issues in the US such as racial tensions and LGBT rights.
Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, mentioned in a blog post,"The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn't specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate."
Facebook reported that a total of 3,000 ads were run from the page. The ads were worth $100,000 and were hosted between June 2015 and May 2017. Moreover, it was also found that 470 fake users and pages were connected to ads and operated in affiliation with one another.
Facebook has also reported that few ads also mentioned the then Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The news contrasts with Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg's statement on the US presidential election. Zuckerberg had mentioned earlier that Facebook hardly has an impact on election campaigns. Moreover, Facebook's disclosure provides evidence that Russia tampered with and helped to influence, the US election.