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Lawmakers Wednesday released a trove of Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and whip up tensions around divisive social issues.U.S. intelligence agencies have said the Russian government exploited social media as part of a sprawling, and surreptitious, campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump.In preparation for hearings this week, Facebook disclosed that content generated by a Russian group, the Internet Research Agency, potentially reached as many as 126 million users, including those who use Facebook's picture-sharing service Instagram. Facebook had earlier turned over more than 3,000 advertisements linked to that group.U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the campaign, including through use of social media, to try to influence the vote in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump.The campaigns of Trump and Clinton spent a combined $81 million on Facebook ads, Stretch said, compared to about $46,000 in ad buys from the Internet Research Agency.
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