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Facebook Will Share Copies of Political Ads Purchased by Russian Sources With the US Congress ( 234

An anonymous reader shares a report: Facebook will turn over copies of political ads purchased by Russian sources to congressional lawmakers, who are investigating the country's potential interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Initially, Facebook had only released those ads -- 3,000 of them, valued at about $100,000 -- to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is spearheading the government's probe into Russia's actions. Facebook had withheld those details from House and Senate leaders, citing privacy concerns. But the move drew sharp rebukes from the likes of Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has charged in recent days that Facebook may not have done enough to scan its systems for potential Russian influence and to ensure that such foreign purchases -- otherwise illegal under U.S. law -- don't happen again. "After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators," wrote Colin Stretch, the company's general counsel. "We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election."
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Facebook Will Share Copies of Political Ads Purchased by Russian Sources With the US Congress

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  • by Templer421 ( 4988421 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @03:53PM (#55240319)

    Is the most trustworthy person. I am sure he would never do anything underhanded.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gnick ( 1211984 )

      There are a lot of reasons to bash FB, and you're free to bash the Zuck himself, but what are you worried about here? That FB might alter or withhold ads? Seems unlikely. This seems like a positive move and I can't think of a reason to hold it against FB.

      • Well, you have to set up a straw man before you can knock him down. It must be a lonely exercise.
    • Still more trustworthy than Trump
  • Why the hypocrisy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 )

    Didn't the Obama administration do something similar [] to the Israelis?

    How come I never heard any kind of investigation? And by the way, it was to the legitimate government of a sovereign state. An ally of ours if I may add.

    • That would be the Israelis job. There _should_ be an investigation. For all I know there was/is and our news choses to ignore it.

    • by greythax ( 880837 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @04:05PM (#55240391)

      Investigators also said OneVoice didn’t turn explicitly political until days after the grant period ended.

      Evidently there was an investigation, hence investigators, at least according to the source you linked. Maybe you should stop rushing to post first and, you know, read.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or you could read a different, more accurate report from a real newspaper.

      US money was used in a campaign because the state department fucked up a contract, not because of nefarious dealings by Obama.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good: can we investigate continued collusion with foreign bodies on the left?
    e.g. Iran, North Korea, China, Russia

    Can we also investigate e.g. antifa?

    Can we also investigate left-leaning media outlets like CNN promoting stories originating from Russia Today etc?

    • No, no we cannot.. (QED)

      (waving hand) "This is not the hypocrisy you are looking for."

    • Good: can we investigate continued collusion with foreign bodies on the left?

      As someone on the left - in fact rather far to the left of what Americans call "the left", since I am European - I agree fully; we could do with a lot more transparency in politics and government on all levels. And not just with China, Russia and N Korea, but with any foreign nation. Just because government and big business find it comfortable to snuggle up to some foreign nation, doesn't mean that the population agrees.

    • Sure, we should investigate illegal collusion with foreign countries on the part of anyone, provided there's evidence to get an investigation going. Trump, for example, had extensive business dealings with Russia, and people around him have lied about the extent of meetings with Russians, so that's a good place to start.

      Sure, investigate Antifa. They've done enough to justify it. This doesn't mean letting up on white supremacists, though, which Trump apparently wants.

      Journalism is privileged in this

  • ...and we'll probably let you run things for a while again.

    - The American People
    </story title="US President Election 2016">
  • What they need to do is inform users who "liked" or shared anything that was Russian propaganda.

    • What they need to do is inform users who "liked" or shared anything that was Russian propaganda.

      Nobody should care if it's propaganda, what's important is if it's true.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    media matters and david brock spent 1,000,000$ correcting the record on social media in a feeble attempt to sway perception of Hillary. does anyone believe a 50k ad buy or 100k made a difference if its true?

  • Even though one senator, Claire McCaskill (D) Missouri, had several meetings with Russians, dinners and what not. Hey, BOTH political parties are two sides of the SAME COIN. They protect each other. If you don't play the game, they will do whatever it takes, to make sure you are on the outside looking in! Explain why, a congress/senator can go to DC, maintain a home in their "home" state (which they never visit), have a house in one of the most expensive areas of the nation, on a salary that pays less tha
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Shotgun ( 30919 )

      Even closer than that, one of Hillary's closest advisors, John Pedesta, had intimate ties with Russia. If the issue is election manipulation, why is he not being looked at? And how did Hillary go from being so broke upon leaving the White House that they had to try stealing the china, to being a multimillionaire a few years later?


  • So the Facebook report states that $100,000 worth of ads were bought over a 2 year period from accounts suspected to have been operated from Russia. Also these ads were:

    - without specific geographic targeting (only 25% we so targeted)
    - without targeting specific candidates
    - vaguely meant to spread division in the society (what does that even mean?)

    Somehow this got blown into "Russia was subverting democracy in the US". It's OK for Sheldon Adelson, Koch brothers and such to throw millions in on the
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aicrules ( 819392 )
      The Russian story line has reached a dead end every single direction it goes. They won't just admit that it was a fabricated narrative to try to torpedo Trump. They keep coming up with new things and all the foaming mouth never-trumpers get into a fevered pitch about it until it's revealed to be nothing of substance. That's happened with every single part of the Russian narrative from the Dossier to now.
    • Yep, they have lost their ever loving minds over there on the left...

      But hey, it's just the shoe on the other foot, the party out of power makes as much trouble as they can for the part in power. Politics as usual.

    • How do you know the content of the ads?

      Also: "anti-LGBT, racist, anti-immigration campaign not specifically targeted at any candidate". Ummm I think only one candidate in the election held those positions. I could be wrong though.

    • It's OK for Sheldon Adelson, Koch brothers and such to throw millions in on their PACs and hold auditions for GOP candidates, that's just free speech, no subversion of democracy there.

      Not to mention the untold amounts of money that Hungarian George Soros has dumped into all kinds of election groups. He spent a LOT more than $100,000. But yeah, no subversion there either. Let's get the microscope out and do a super thorough search of the Russian flee and ignore all the elephants running around...

    • I bet if this were Hillary Clinton your post would be IMPEACH NOW! But it is ok because Trump has an R next to his name.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @04:32PM (#55240539)
    Hillary and her supporters spent an estimated $1.2 Billion [], roughly twice what Trump spent. And she lost. And she blames the Ruskies for her loss. Seriously?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      She has blamed a lot of people, probably most of America at this point. []

    • I know right? That 100K of russkie money must have been very well spent..

      Face it you guys, Hillary was such a bad candidate she lost to a novice, braggart, loud mouth real estate developer from Queens even after out spending him 2 to 1 along with that hum dinger of an October surprise "Access Hollywood" tape thing.

      It should have been a blow out... Except that she and her campaign drank their own KoolAid, didn't bother to put in the effort to win, so she lost by the skin of her teeth...

    • What does that have to do with the price of ducks in peking?

      I am pretty sure Hillary is not leading the investigation into the possibility of direct Russian influence in the election. I am also pretty sure knowing about foreign influence and/or involvement in our elections should be a pretty clear cut bipartisan *American* issue we should know about regardless of which pony you pick in the race.

  • Have something to say that will get US citizens out to vote for your candidate.
    Give speeches in more of the fly over states.
    Dont just give the same boring, short speeches in select parts of the elite east and west coasts.
    Visit and talk to real people in the fly over states. Take time to listen to real US citizens and talk to them.
    A few very simple steps win US elections.
    A political party has to find a candidate that has the energy to give a charismatic speech anywhere in the USA on topics people can
  • If we're trying to reduce the influence of ads bought by foreigners on U.S. elections, shouldn't Facebook be turning over all ads purchased by foreign entities during the election cycle?

    Or is the goal here to arrive at a predetermined conclusion - that Russia tried to influence the election?
  • So basically they just said: here is the data. To me this should be illegal to do. Get a judge in there with a court order. Otherwise it should be seen as a serious breach in anything that concerns privacy.
    Yes, I will speak up for those that I am against. My enemies should have the same rights as me.

    But then we are talking about Facebook and the US where privacy means nothing.

"Buy land. They've stopped making it." -- Mark Twain