You’ve probably been hearing tons of news about Russia lately. There have been allegations that Russian actors tampered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election for months.
Recently, Facebook fessed up about accepting money for advertisements from a Russian propaganda firm. We now know what some of those ads were. You won’t believe some of the shocking posts.
How are fake ads appearing on Facebook?
During the time leading up to the 2016 election, nearly 3,000 fake ads circulated on Facebook, Google and Twitter. Attorneys representing all three companies took part in federal hearings this week. Lawmakers questioned the attorneys on how Russian ads targeting Clinton, Trump, race, religion and guns were allowed to run on their platforms.
A few of these ads had already leaked, but at Wednesday’s hearing, many more were made public. The metadata was also released showing how Russians targeted certain groups. Most of the ads were intended to stir up emotions in Americans.
Here are some examples:
The following ad came from a fake group called the Army of Jesus. It targeted conservative Facebook users and asked them to “Like” the post so others would see it in their News Feed.
This next ad targeted liberal Facebook users aged 18-65. The fake ad actually worked and thousands of people showed up to a rally protesting President Trump.
This next ad targeted gun rights activists asking to defend the 2nd Amendment.
Here’s an ad advocating for more secured borders that received over 145,000 impressions and 21,000 clicks.
As you can see from the examples above, each ad targeted specific groups. What group would you fall into? Click here to find out which group Facebook would put you in.
How likely is it that Russia could hack an entire election?
A recent revelation from the Department of Homeland Security may have officially confirmed that hackers tried to comprise U.S. election systems. It shows how vulnerable our voter systems really are to cyberattacks and data breaches. But is your state a part of the affected list revealed by the DHS?