On September 6, Facebook announced the results of its investigation into potential efforts to use its platform to influence the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company says it uncovered hundreds of fake accounts and communities managed from Russia with the help of a so-called “troll factory” that paid for promoted content over the course of two years. Facebook blocked all the groups identified in this study, but a source close to Russia’s Internet Research Agency claims that 20 percent of its communities on the network remain active. Here are the main conclusions and results of Facebook’s investigation:
- 470 fake accounts were launched from Russia.
- These accounts bought 3,000 promoted posts for a total of $100,000.
- Network administrators blocked 25 public groups on Facebook and 32accounts on Instagram (and Twitter says it’s also blocked 50 accounts believed to be from Russia’s “troll factory”).
- The total audience for these accounts and communities was more than 5 million subscribers.
Photo on front page: Jeff Chiu / AP / Scanpix / LETA