Trump and Clinton spent $81M on US election Facebook ads, Russian agency $46K
Russian information troll farm the Internert Research Agency spent just 0.05% as much on Facebook ads as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns combined in the run up to the 2016 US presidential election. Clinton and Trump spent $81 million, while the IRA spent $46,000. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch revealed these figures today during the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing with Facebook, Twitter, and Google about Russian election interference.
The fact that the top campaigns spent 1760X more on election ads than one group of Russian meddlers puts the whole situation into context. The IRA ad buy was tiny by comparison. This aligns with Stretch’s main talking point that Russian propaganda content was a tiny fraction of the content and ads seen on Facebook.
Still, Facebook today said that the Russians still reached 126 million Facebook users as well as 20 million Instagram users.
Facebook had previously announced that $100,000 was spent on Facebook ads from June 2015 to May 2017 by Russian-linked disinformation sources, while an additional $50,000 was spent by Russians that signals indicate weren’t or were only weakly connected to an organized disinformation campaign.
Stretch says that the IRA was attacking the election as early as 2015. But one major issue is that there could still be other unidentified Russian groups that also tried to interfere with the 2016 election.
Stretch, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett, and Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker all agreed that their investigations are ongoing so they can’t be sure they’ve identified all active measures of disinformation implemented by the Russians.Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch/Getty Images
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November 1, 2017 at 11:25AM