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It only takes about five minutes to buy a Facebook ad with a link to a fake anti-Muslim story and aim it at residents of a Michigan electoral battleground county whom the social network’s algorithms perceive to be “very conservative.”

This capability is at the heart of an ongoing controversy around revelations that a Russian troll farm gamed Facebook’s ad targeting apparatus with exactly these sorts of purchases. Facebook has admitted that it sold 3,000 ads to entities aligned with the Russian government’s campaign to influence the presidential election. The Kremlin-linked actors reportedly used Facebook’s tools to target ads around electoral geography, feelings toward Muslims, and racial divisions, among other political pressure points.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Advertising, Donald Trump, 2016 Election, and Russia Investigation

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