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Facebook won't say if Russia targeted you during the presidential election, but they probably did

They revealed Russian trolls bought $100,000 of ads, but are resisting full disclosure about what else they know or when they knew it.
Facebook Russian Trolls 2016 Election
Photo: Getty Images

This week Facebook admitted that Russian trolls not only used the social network to disseminate anti-Clinton propaganda during the 2016 election, but also set up and publicized anti-Clinton rallies. This is a polar turnaround from Facebook's assertion earlier this year that they had no evidence that Russia had done so.

Now, the company says they won't disclose if you were targeted by those trolls, the Daily Beast reports. "We aren't well placed to know if something like coordination occurred,” said a Facebook spokesperson, referring to any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

One week ago, Facebook revealed they had sold 3,000 ads to a Russian troll farm totaling $100,000 from May 2015 to June 2017.

The company then said it would not release information about Russian-supported Facebook posts, troll groups, or paid ads. They also said they wouldn't disclose what information they had given Congressional investigators probing Russia's meddling in the election, or how they found 470 accounts involved with the ads.

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But the company may be compelled to. Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller has zeroed in on Facebook as part of his own probe into the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russia. And Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the Intelligence Committee chairman, said Tuesday it's “probably more a question of when” there will be a Senate hearing at which Facebook will testify.

Sen. Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said earlier this month that Facebook had taken down 50,000 accounts during the recent French presidential elections, and that the company's revelations about the ads it sold during the 2016 U.S election were only the "tip of the iceberg" and "I think there's going to be much more."

"It appeared to me that the very social media sites that we rely on for virtually everything — our Facebooks, Googles and Twitters — it was my belief the Russians were using those sites to intervene in our elections," Warner said this month at the Intelligence & National Security Summit in Washington, D.C. "And the first reaction from Facebook was: 'Well you're crazy, there's nothing going on' -- well, we find yesterday there actually was something going on."

 
 
 
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