Instagram is now in the mix, too.
About 150 political ads that Facebook sold to Russian-operated Pages during last year’s election cycle showed up on Instagram, the company confirmed on Friday.
Facebook had previously divulged that it unknowingly sold approximately 3,000 ads to “inauthentic” Russian Pages trying to influence last year’s election, but this is the first admission that some of those ads appeared on one of its other properties.
The social network claims that five percent of the 3,000 ads appeared on Instagram and that “about $6,700 was spent on these ads.” The entire set of 3,000 ads cost about $100,000.
The news came as part of an update Friday to an earlier blog post penned by Facebook’s VP of policy and communications Elliot Schrage.
It’s not known how many people saw the Instagram ads, though Facebook has confirmed that the collection of 3,000 ads might have been seen by as many as 10 million people. The ads promoted both sides of sensitive political and social issues like gun control and Black Lives Matter in an effort to create political discord.
Facebook is now at the center of multiple government investigations into Russian meddling in last year’s election, including a special investigation by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Facebook is set to testify in front of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Nov. 1 in two separate hearings.
Recode – All Go to Source
Author: Kurt Wagner
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