These are the ads at the center of Russia’s election interference campaign.
Congress finally published all of the political Facebook ads purchased by Russian groups hoping to sow discord before and after the 2016 U.S. election.
The House Intelligence Committee Democrats published downloadable files with more than 3,500 ads to their website on Thursday. You can find them and download them here.
Reminder: These are the Facebook ads that were purchased by the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed online troll farm, both before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Donald Trump won. Back in February, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals linked to the IRA. The indictment claims the IRA “engaged in operations to interfere in elections and political processes,” adding that the group “posted derogatory information about a number of candidates.”
Facebook, of course, was a key weapon for carrying out these efforts. The IRA bought thousands of ads and posted tens of thousands of other posts, promoting both sides of divisive issues like gun control and race relations.
Some of these ads were used as examples when executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google testified before Congress late last year. But the vast majority have not been made public until today.
If you go through the ads, you’ll notice that many of them have been redacted in some form. The House Intelligence Committee website says that these ads were “redacted by Facebook to protect personally-identifiable information.”
It’s also important to note: This batch of ads does not include organic content, posts created and shared by the IRA that the organization didn’t pay to promote. The House Intelligence Committee says there are “80,000 pieces of organic content.”
Here are a few examples of what the ads look like:
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