Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions.
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In three exhaustive hearings this week, executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google acknowledged that their platforms were used by Russia to try and create division over such disparate issues as immigration, gun control and politics. House investigators released a trove of Facebook and Twitter ads that showed just how extraordinary the cyberintrusion was.The companies' admissions and disclosures over the last several months have given congressional investigators one of their first real wins in the Russia probes. The few dozen ads are a sampling from more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads Facebook had turned over to the committee.Many of the ads also show careful targeting, with messages geared toward particular audiences.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. The site will also create new graphics where users can click on the ads and find out more about who's behind them.Besides the ads released by lawmakers on the House intelligence committee, Democrats on the panel also released four tweets from RT, a Russian state-sponsored television network, and nearly 3,000 Twitter handles active during the final months of the election.
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