Monday 23rd July 2018

The House Intelligence Committee has released thousands of political adverts created by Russian organizations

The House Intelligence Committee has released over 8GB of documents containing ads created by Russian organizations before, during and after the US election.
Jason Smith
by on 14th May 2018

Last week, the House Intelligence Committee released thousands of adverts created by Russian organizations before, during and after the US Presidential election in 2016.

According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the ads were created by the Russian organizations to “sow discord” in the American electoral system, and Facebook notes that the organizations spent $100,000 on ads both before and after the election.

Meanwhile, the combined digital advertising spend of the Trump and Clinton campaigns was $1.415 billion, according to Borrell Associates.

The ads released show how the organizations attempted to influence events on both sides of the political spectrum and across a range of issues including immigration, policing, LGBT rights and race.

Overall, the committee released 8GB of files containing ads spanning two years. According to an analysis by the Washington Post, the majority of clicks came after the election.

A number of the ads received very few clicks (or none at all), however many appear to be designed to solicit a negative emotional response on the part of the user.

Some examples of ads from the roughly 3,500 documents released are listed below.

Facebook ad 1

The ad above was tied to the “black matters” page. It drove 2,740 clicks from 46,447 impressions and cost nearly 13,000 roubles ($210)

Many other ads also seemed to be focused on creating tensions along racial lines.

One ad, which was also tied to the Black Matters page, contained the following text, “We must give new names to the streets which were named after racist political figures and slave traders.

“We must remove monuments dedicated to Andrew Jackson, Robert Lee, Benjamin Huger, James Longstreet who owned slaves on their farms”.

The ad attracted 412 impressions and 23 clicks. It cost 174 roubles.

Another ad titled, “4 cops on 1 teen: brutality against juveniles” received 6,555 clicks from 92,618 impressions and cost rough 13,500 roubles.

Facebook ad 2

This ad about an event for Donald Trump attracted 18,195 impression and 1,454 clicks from an ad spend of nearly 19,000 roubles.

Facebook ad 5

This ad drove 94 clicks from 1,849 impressions and an ad spend of nearly 4,000 roubles.

Facebook ad 3

This ad attracted 2,192 impression and 351 clicks from an ad spend of 200 roubles.

Facebook ad 4

This ad attracted 13,716 impression and 727 clicks from an ad spend of 1,000 roubles.

Facebook ad 6

Facebook’s internal investigation from last year concluded that the ads reached 10 million U.S. users, however it also noted 25 percent of the ads were never seen by anyone.