Facebook: About 10 Million People Saw Ads Purchased By Russian Firm

Natalia Seliverstova/SPTNK

Facebook on Monday said an “estimated 10 million people” saw advertisements a Kremlin-linked Russian troll firm bought on the website over the course of the 2016 campaign.

“An estimated 10 million people saw the ads. We were able to approximate the number of unique people (“reach”) who saw at least one of these ads, with our best modeling,” Elliot Schrage, vice president of policy and communications, said in a blog post.

Schrage said that 44 percent of the ads “were seen before the US election” in November, while 56 percent were seen afterward.

“Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone,” Schrage said. “That’s because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Monday confirmed that Facebook had given the panel 3,000 ads it traced back to the Russian troll farm and said he hoped to make “a representative sampling” of the ads public by the end of the month.

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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