Here Are the Social Media Ads That Russia Used to Influence the Election

The House intelligence committee just released a bunch of startling examples.

The House intelligence committee on Wednesday released a trove of social media ads from 2016 that were created by firms connected to the Russian government with the purpose of influencing the election. The sample ads spanned a wide variety of divisive topics—religion, race gun control, and more—and appear to confirm lawmakers’ concerns that Russia sought to interfere in US politics by fomenting cultural tensions among voters. 

The public release comes amid startling reports that Facebook content generated by Russian operatives may have reached more than one-third of the the entire US population. This week, representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter appeared before Congress to explain how such efforts went undetected, as well as outline measures the companies are now taking to prevent future foreign political interference. 

The ads released Wednesday range from race-baiting screeds to a bizarre “Buff Bernie” coloring book. Here’s a sample:

Bernie Sanders and LGBT Issues

Anti-Immigrants Rants

Gun Control

“Killary” Clinton, the Military, and Benghazi

Despite the tech giants’ assurances that they are working to stop foreign propaganda from appearing on their platforms, recent studies show that Russian trolls continue to infiltrate American social media, with posts attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s credibility and pushing Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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