10 million Facebook users saw Russian ads
Facebook revealed on Monday that roughly 10 million users saw political ads purchased by Russian actors around the time of the 2016 election.
Some 44 percent of the ads were seen before the election, while 56 percent were seen after, according to the company’s numbers.
The company notes that a quarter of the 3,000 ads purchased were never seen by any Facebook users.
Facebook’s numbers comes amid mounting pressure from some lawmakers who want to see the social media behemoth publicly release the 3,000 ads purchased by the Kremlin-linked “Internet Research Agency.” The company turned over the ads to lawmakers on Monday.
“The American people deserve to see the ways that the Russian intelligence services manipulated and took advantage of online platforms to stoke and amplify social and political tensions, which remains a tactic we see the Russian government rely on today,” the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), said in a statement on Monday.
The company revealed in September that the Internet Research Agency had purchased $100,000 in political advertisements. Later reports revealed that the ads bought by the Russian group sought to elicit social and racial divisions among Americans.
The House Intelligence and Senate Intelligence Committees will hold hearings on the matter. Senate Intelligence has invited Facebook, Twitter and Google, to testify on Nov. 1. House Intelligence has not issued formal invitations, but said it would like the companies to be present.
The three tech giants have not commented on if they will attend the hearings yet, but last week after Twitter briefed lawmakers, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), said he will subpoena representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google to attend.