Facebook says it has identified nearly 500 fake accounts, probably run from Russia, that it says spent about $100,000 on ads that amplified politically divisive issues during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos says in a statement Wednesday the company discovered the accounts during a review of ad buys. That review was spurred by a broader investigation into Russian interference in the election.
Stamos says the 470 fake accounts and pages didn’t specifically reference the election, a candidate or voting. But he says the 3,000 ads promoted political messages on a range of issues from gun rights to race issues.
The ads were purchased between June 2015 and May 2017.
Facebook says it shared its findings with federal authorities.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.