The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has disclosed several Facebook ads which it says Russian troll farms posted on the social media site in attempts to further increase the political divide among Americans during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.
The ads seemingly targeted almost every segment of the population from Bernie Sanders supporters to Black Lives Matter proponents to NRA members. Of course, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters were also among those targeted.
Perhaps just as importantly, the committee also released the metadata alongside the ads. This allows people to see who the ads were targeting as well as how many people could have seen each ad and how many times the ads were clicked upon.
Facebook users were served about 80,000 posts, Instagram users about 120,000 posts and there were 3,000 ads that Facebook has traced to alleged Russian operatives.
As many as 126 million people could have been served the posts on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram, according to company estimates.
Below is a look at more than a dozen of the Facebook ads as well as some of the metadata which was distributed.
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans who liked LGBT United and their friends and connections… Potential reach of 848 people and generated 54 clicks. Cost 111.48 RUB.
LGBT United 2
Metadata: Ad targeted people in Kansas who were interested in Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, LGBT rights by country or territory, the LGBT community and same sex marriage… Potential reach of 4798 people and generated 240 clicks. Cost 3136.68 RUB.
United Muslims of America
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans who like United Muslims of America and their friends and connections… Potential reach of 11 people and generated 0 clicks. Cost 5.92 RUB.
Heart of Texas
Metadata: Ad targeted Texans whose interests included independence or patriotism… Potential reach of 3,361 people and generated 808 clicks. Cost 500 RUB.
Heart of Texas 2
Metadata: Ad targeted Texans who like the Heart of Texas Facebook page. Potential reach of 16,168 people and generated 2342 clicks. Cost 3200 RUB.
Army of Jesus
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans interested in Laura Ingraham, God, Ron Paul, Christianity, Bill O’Reilly (political commentator), Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, the Bible, Conservatism in the United States, Michael Savage, Faith, Mike Huckabee or Jesus Christ… Potential reach of 71 people and generated 14 clicks. Cost 64.00 RUB.
Metadata: Ad targeted New Yorkers who like the BM Facebook page and their friends and connections… Potential reach of 188 people and generated 26 clicks. Cost 113.19 RUB.
Stop A.I. 1
Metadata: Ad generated 4,306 shares, 13,182 likes, 870 reactions and 5,152 comments. Other numbers weren’t released for this ad.
Stop A.I. 2
Metadata: Ad generated 55,812 shares, 11,180 likes, 520 reactions and 1477 comments. Other numbers weren’t released for this ad.
Defend the 2nd
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans interested in the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Sisters, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, concealed carry in the United States, gun rights, National Association for Gun Rights, Guns & Ammo or Gun Rights Across America, Employers: Gun Owners of America. Potential reach of 301,608 people and generated 24,955 clicks. Cost 48,305.55 RUB.
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans with interest in Cop Block. Potential reach of 103,614 people and generated 10,629 clicks. Cost 105,585.61 RUB.
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans who like being patriotic. Potential reach of 3,362 people and generated 761 clicks. Cost 500 RUB.
United Muslims of America
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans with interest in Hillary Clinton or the Muslim Brotherhood. Potential reach of 1,849 people and generated 94 clicks. Cost 3,981.07 RUB.
Donald Trump America
Metadata: Ad targeted Americans who were interested in Donald Trump, Donald Trump for President or Donald Trump Jr. Potential reach of 34,943 people and generated 6,276 clicks. Cost 14,606.52 RUB.
— With files from Reuters