Facebook Sold US Election Ads To Russian Troll Farm

The Washington Post reports:

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that it has discovered it sold ads during the U.S. presidential election to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said. Most of the ads focused on pumping politically divisive issues such as gun rights and immigration fears, as well as gay rights and racial discrimination.

The acknowledgment by Facebook comes as congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller are probing Russian interference in the U.S. election, including allegations that the Kremlin may have coordinated with the Trump campaign.

  • another_steve

    Man and I don’t do Facebook.

    We do shit, but not Facebook shit.

    • bambinoitaliano

      I have a Facebook account with no friends and families and no personal info 😛

      • another_steve

        I’m always asking my niece and nephew to send me pictures of my great-nieces and great-nephews and they always reply with, “Well go to our Facebook pages!!”

        So I reply back, “Fuck your Facebook pages.”

        “Ever hear of email?

        • bambinoitaliano

          Ha! I use to have them bombarding me to ‘like’ their post for some contest. I refused. The moment you start linking to their account, your whole life is in full display. I’ve always warn them about posting my pics and often refuse to have my pictures taken with or without them. It’s a battle of will I tell ya.

          • another_steve

            I understand there have been – maybe still are – real privacy issues vis-à-vis Facebook.

            Zuckerberg and Co. are masters of capitalizing on personal data that people post online.

          • bambinoitaliano

            Ironically it was Mark Zuckerberg that thought me how to safe guard my privacy. If the Facebook owner can’t even trust his own computer, what chance do we have? I’ve since taped over the cameras and mics on all my computer devices. Even former FBI Director James Comey does the same LOL! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5eb8f53d1a85e706fbc413a2eb905a3887b49f502e898905636269ecccde2b4e.png

          • another_steve

            My husband and I are such troglodytes that until recently we didn’t even know that our PCs had built-in microphones.

            We were participating in an online tour of their collection given by the Maryland Historical Society and all of a sudden the tour guide starts talking to us. From the PC speakers.

            I almost fainted.

          • bambinoitaliano

            All the current devices including tablets and phones with cameras and mics can be easily access by app developers at anytime, any hour of the day . They can record video, audio, taking snap shot whenever and wherever without your permission because you already clicked on the I agree the moment you purchase the devices and start using them or when you download the apps to your devices.

          • (((GC)))

            On phones at least, apps are supposed to need permission to access the camera or microphone. If an app has that — especially if it also has “full network access” — it had better have a very good reason, or it doesn’t get/stay on my phone.

          • bambinoitaliano

            You’ll be surprise many apps demanded you agree on allowing them to access your personal data as a condition to use their apps. There are no options of picking and choosing what you are willing to share and what not. App developers are not selling apps to make a profit. The profit lies in collective personal information. When the apps reach a popular number of downloads they are worth a lot to bigger companies like Facebook and Google.

          • PickyPecker

            I’ve gotten that way with peoples’ stupid cellphone pic antics. I’ll dodge out of the way or turn away when they try to pull that. Not long ago I allowed a dear old friend of mine to take a pic of us having a bloody mary at the local watering hole…next thing I know, she had posted it on her FB page (so my mother told me). I called her and demanded it be taken down and that she did not have my permission to do such a post. Will be a very cold day in hell before I allow her to take another pic of me. 🙂

          • bambinoitaliano

            Yup in the early days when they start posting every thing that we do on Facebook I was horrified! How could they make private moments into a public affair? At that instant I deleted my original account and cut all ties and have no link to them in any social media since.

        • PickyPecker

          Granted I’m not super close to my nephews, however……I don’t have or use FB and found out months and months after the fact(s) that one of them had gotten married then divorced and that another one’s wife had a baby, making me a great uncle. So much for keeping in touch.

          • another_steve

            Well, at least finding out about the ‘married then divorced’ thing after the fact saved you from the initial perfunctory “So glad for you!”

  • Ninja0980

    They were warned about this and chose to ignore it.
    Fuck them and Zuckerberg.

    • bkmn

      Even though virtually all of my family are on it I just can not go back to FB. I really did not appreciate them going through all my contacts to give me suggestions of people I should be following

      • FAEN

        I have never had a FB account and I never will.

        • (((GC)))

          You won’t see me on Facebook either.

          A notable “dark pattern” — ways sites and companies have to trick you into buying or agreeing to more than you intended — was named for FB’s CEO: “privacy zuckering”. Hit the link for more on the data brokerage industry and how profiles that could end up costing you insurance or jobs are created and sold:
          https://darkpatterns.org/types-of-dark-pattern/privacy-zuckering

          • ThelmaSTaylor

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it >>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash48TopNetwork/GetPay$97/Hour……..

          • JulieRPatton

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !ql86:
            ➽➽
            ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash86HomeAll/GetPay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫.★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!ql86t..,……

      • Stephen Elliot Phillips

        On your cell phone! I figured out that if u link FB thru ur cell phone they will send u friend suggestions for anybody uve ever called or texted. These are people not even in ur contacts.
        Its rather scary

    • Robincho

      Truck Fump and Zuck Fuckerberg…

  • Todd20036

    Yeah, read this. There’s a reason Zuckerberg really is a shit.

    • Halou

      You know what. I’d like to nail a “like” icon to the bottom of Zuckerberg’s grave once he dies. He more than deserves it.

  • Jonathan Smith
  • PickyPecker
  • pch1013

    Related – I’m now seeing Russian mail-order bride ads on this page.

    • William

      Why aren’t there mail order husbands?

    • another_steve

      You have to be very careful what you say in your comments here.

      I once typed the word “‎hemorrhoid” in a comment and have been inundated with ads for suppositories ever since.

      • bkmn

        On a slightly related note I did see that some of the pot shops in the area have suppositories available now

      • (((GC)))

        Ad blockers are your friend.

    • TheManicMechanic

      Joe’s site is unfortunately infested with ads, trackers, beacons and many sketchy third party scripts, almost as bad as Towleroad. I’m forced to block all of it, and will never visit with a device that isn’t equipped to deal with all that crap. Joe has the right to make money off this site, and I will support him on it. But my right to control what comes across the bandwidth I pay for and gets displayed in my screens trounces all else.

  • PickyPecker
  • William

    Well duh.

  • Tomcat

    But there is no chance that Russia influenced the election,REICH.

  • AmeriCanadian
    • Tomcat

      If it comes from facebook how can we trust it now?

      • AmeriCanadian

        It is a live broadcast from ABS TV.

        • Tomcat

          Never heard of ABS TV. Send pictures or no deal.

          • Tread

            Just stop with that shit. There’s other news outlets outside of the US.

          • Tomcat

            But I don’t have to believe them, they might be fake news.

        • agcons

          They’re making TV broadcasts out of high-grade plastic? Will wonders never cease.

      • colo303
    • Todd20036

      And it’s coming towards us

      • FAEN

        They’re predicting Puerto Rico will be without power for MONTHS!

        • ColdCountry

          Well, we won’t be sending aid as they aren’t part of the US. Oh, wait…. (Does Dump know they are?)

          • Lizard

            To be fair, that’s not just Drumpf. People still call Sonia Sotomayor’s parents immigrants.

    • FAEN

      But hey-there is no climate change.

    • bkmn

      Seattle’s Yelp community manager is in the USVI with her boyfriend battening down in their second floor suite’s bathroom which was where they were told to take shelter. It has been over 4 hours since she has posted any online content (twitter or instagram). I hope they will be ok

  • Lazycrockett
  • Tomcat

    Facebook is for people that don’t have a life and want to pretend.

    • PickyPecker

      My mother ‘follows’ a distant cousin of hers with whom she has some contact. She continually bemoans how terrible her own family is and how wonderful the cousin’s family is becuase of ALL the pictures of what they do together as a family and ALL the fabulous and funny things the cousin posts about her family.
      It’s all made up, I’m certain.

      • Tomcat

        Go down to the local jail take a lot of pictures and send them as your family reunion. That should do it.

      • bambinoitaliano

        It’s like the good old photo album. No one would chronicle the bad moments of their lives. They are too busy fighting to pick up a camera.

      • Uncle Mark

        Actually, there are studies related to increased depression due to Facebook use. Since people generally only post those wonderful pictures of family, friends, smiling faces & events, others see everyone else’s lives as being far happier, more exciting, and fun-filled than their own. I have a couple friends, who will actually go to a place just to register their being at that restaurant/bar/event just to impress or make others jealous. It’s really sad when it gets that far.

        • Lizard

          The phenomenon actually has a name: “social media image crafting.” No one posts the bad stuff because it makes their lives look bad. They want to look as picture-perfect as possible.

      • lattebud
      • Jefe5084

        You should post a picture of a whole corral full of happy unicorns frolicking in beautiful flowers. Caption: things are busy in the back yard today.

      • Lars Littlefield

        I’ve done several Faceplant searches looking for people I once knew. The few times I’ve actually found people have been very disappointing. I found a distant cousin I used to admire when I was an adolescent. Turns out she can’t spell and has the worst command of grammar. She also has photos of all our relatives who have died. Snap shots she’s personally taken of them in their open caskets during viewings. And she supports Trump.

        Found a dear old friend who I wish hadn’t parted from my life 40 years ago. He’s in Palm Springs and his Faceplant page is full of videos. He’s drunk and in bad drag in all of them. Nothing wrong with drag, but this guy really is an alcoholic mess. I decided not to reach out and contact him.

    • Mikey

      I have a life.
      I also live in a moderately remote location.
      Facebook lets me stay in touch with people I know from all around the globe.

      Let’s try to not be bitchily judgmental.

      • shellback

        I do it (stay in touch) with email.

        • Gustav2

          All the in-laws are on Facebook and that is how we find out one is in the hospital, etc.

          • shellback

            How on earth did you find out before fb?

          • Gustav2

            They now use their smartphones to post on FB instead of calling all of us. LOL

          • PickyPecker
          • djcoastermark

            By this really odd boxy thingy that mostly , hung on a wall. It had a coily snaky wire coming out of it and into another small box on the end. The main box had some sort of roulette wheel that spun. I guess to keep you occupied while waiting for a voice to arrive in the smaller box.I could go on, but it really starts getting complicated.

          • shellback

            I still use that. Perfect, crystal-clear audio that doesn’t drop out/echo/drift away. Callers sound like they’re in the adjoining room.

          • djcoastermark

            Oh but the music on those things. Awful.

          • shellback

            That’s what Victrolas are for.

          • ColdCountry

            It had a dial? No crank on the side?

          • djcoastermark

            Only when I was next to it.

        • ColdCountry

          I got on fb because a friend uses it and posted all the pics of her puppies there. She didn’t want to bother emailing them all to me as well, understandable, so that’s all I use it for. It does have it’s uses, it’s just that too many people let it run their lives.

        • Mikey

          I didn’t say Facebook was my only means of communication.
          But it certainly helps when I’d like to share my music with friends, family, or business partners.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      And how does this make them any different than us? Are you saying that Disqus as a platform is any better? Joe doesn’t have that much control over ads here either. If you make the claim that we’re any better, you’re part of the problem.

      Now don’t get me wrong. I love this space as much as any of you. I come here pretty much everyday to read, and to post. But, in no way do I think I’m better or worse than the average Facebook consumer. There has to be a better way to support some of these mediums that are unwittingly and sometimes knowingly, buying and selling us to whomever is willing to pay for our information.

    • Cuberly

      Getting bombarded with pics and appraisals of someones breakfast lunch and dinner, that bothers you?

      Heh…..

      • Uncle Mark

        Yeah…We call that “food porn”…and I’ve overheard friends chastise each other for that

        • Cuberly

          That works, but to me it’s more food voyeurism. One of the many many reasons I left FB a long time ago. Was I obligated to read that sort of dreck?

          • Uncle Mark

            I was kicked off FB after being on it for a brief time (after joining late in 2015 because certain sites require FB to comment.) My account was frozen after some homophobic RWNJ I pissed off reported to FB that “Uncle Mark” is NOT an acceptable profile name. I didn’t want to give my actual name, as I have homophobic and conservative clients & executives to work with…and I didn’t want the complications of having them & nosy co-workers looking in on my life. I argued that they officially made exceptions to those rules (before an ACLU lawsuit got to court) for those tormented by stalkers, those who’ve been abused, others with a drag identity, or others with an alternate professional identity, etc…but they ignored my argument. If it was An effort to remove bogus profiles, like the Russian bots/troll use, one could easily see that my page was that of a legitimate person.

            My friends asked me to just create another account with another pseudonym, but I just figured fuck ’em, I have better things to do with my time. FB needs me more than I need them. Plus I was beginning to find that it was getting complicated with friends getting upset with me because I chose not to “friend” their friends, or friends of friends, or family, or latest love interest (generally people I didn’t really know or didn’t want to know.) I much preferred to keep a small tight-knit group of my closest friends.

    • greenmanTN

      A very apt cartoon IMO.

      https://youtu.be/tdz4DvDG_gg

  • bkmn

    Why do I get the feeling it was much more than $100K?

    • The_Wretched

      Yeah, that feels like a first forced admission of what was flatly provable.

  • Uncle Mark

    And the pro-Trump talking heads (of cabbage) will have us believe that this was ONLY because the Russians really hated Hillary, and expected nothing in return from a Trump presidency. If the Russians spent this much for Facebook, how much did they invest in the SuperPacs? I hope the Mueller investigation looks into these as well; perhaps when we see how much the Russians invested in the SuperPacs, we can FINALLY arrange to have the Supreme Court rescind their earlier decision regarding Citizen’s United

  • Jonathan Smith

    ne1 else just get booted from Disqus?

  • Lazycrockett
  • Lazycrockett
  • JCF

    Off-topic: OMG, they just showed Drumpf talking about Ivanka (in North Dakota a few minutes ago), in the most-cringetastic ways possible (“She said, ‘Daddy, can I come?'”). Everybody, get out your BARF bags!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b497b49cec6023c20660de1c63a70567a0b7b406101742fbe5702a49f26859d.jpg

  • safari
  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Aside from my feelings about Facebook, which are very negative, I just really don’t like Zuckerberg at all. I can’t believe anybody would want him to run for office.

    https://onegayatatime.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/ufunk-i-hate-facebook.jpg

    • Tomcat

      That’s ME!

  • Tomcat

    OT: I have watched the Science Channel all day and every program explained how the earth will be destroyed by this and that,,, and I actually feel better with that than watching trump’s shit. I guess it is the time span to destruction that matters.
    What does that say about how people feel about trump?

  • The_Wretched

    I have a FB page. I think I have one post on it that says I won’t be updating very often.

  • MBear

    Zuckling on the putin teat

    Arrest FB executives and put them on trial for treason

  • Halou

    Facebook wants more user to generate more ad revenue which makes Facebook richer. They’re acceding to Chinese propaganda rules as well, because what are principles when compared to 1.2 billion potential new revenue generating users?

  • JWC

    Wee Fuckleberg is proud of this?? should be fined

    • Halou

      The fine should be made to reflect the size of the company’s financial situation and asset portfolio.

    • William

      A lifetime vacation in sunny Leavenworth Kansas may be more suitable.

  • Ernest Endevor
  • Jay Mills

    There is a fascinating series on BBC (not available in US) about Facebook’s involvement with Project Alamo, part of the data firm Cambridge Analytica (Mercer).
    “Why were Facebook people working here?”
    “They were hands on partners. We pumped millions of $$ into that company.”

    • SoCalGal20

      What’s the series called? Do they also talk about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Brexit?

      Cambridge Analytica and the Mercers deserve their own very special investigation.

      • Jay Mills

        Yes, they were responsible for Trump Facebook posts, involved in Brexit, and now Kenya.

      • William

        Look online for ‘The Secrets of Silicon Valley’. It’s out there. If you can go through a proxy server, you can watch in on the BBC iPlayer site.

  • ColdCountry

    Oopsie!

  • netxtown

    fuck zuck.

  • kladinvt

    One thing about the 2016 primaries/election is that ALL of US; Hillary, Bernie, Stein, and even Trump supporters were PLAYED. Unfortunately, some people are still falling for the divisiveness, that’s meant to make us ‘lose faith in Our Democracy’.

  • Jim Battrell

    enjoy your thirty pieces of silver Mark.

  • ThelmaSTaylor

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it >>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash48TopNetwork/GetPay$97/Hour………