WASHINGTON — Facebook says it has identified nearly 500 fake accounts, probably run from Russia, that it says spent about $100,000 on ads that amplified politically divisive issues during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said in a statement Wednesday the company discovered the accounts during a review of ad buys. That review was spurred by a broader investigation into Russian interference in the election.
Stamos says the 470 fake accounts and pages didn’t specifically reference the election, a candidate or voting. But he says the 3,000 ads promoted political messages on a range of issues from gun rights to race issues.
The ads were purchased between June 2015 and May 2017.
Facebook says it shared its findings with federal authorities.