Facebook Says Only A Quarter Of Russian Ads Were Specifically Targeted

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Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch on Tuesday offered broad details about the way Russian ads were targeted on the platform, something journalists and citizen groups have been agitating for.

Stretch said only a quarter of the ads were specifically geotargeted, however.

“The advertising targeting that was used, in the main, was a combination of very broad geographic targeting,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Most of the ads, about 75 percent of we have given you, was targeted to the United States as a whole. And a quarter of the ads were targeted at a more granular level to states. And they were targeted to interest groups. So we have various what we call like-based or interest-based targeting that was apparently intended to attract people who were following the causes you’ve identified.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Thielman is an investigative reporter for Talking Points Memo based in Manhattan. He has worked as a reporter and critic for the Guardian, Variety, Adweek and Newsday, where he covered stories from the hacking attacks on US and international targets by Russian GRU and FSB security services to the struggle to bring broadband internet to the Navajo nation. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and too many comic books.
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