Check out this tool for exploring Facebook ads purchased by Russia to influence the 2016 election


Fathom Information Design created an interactive website called Fakebook that presents a bunch of Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked agents, showing the intended audiences for the ads. Is their any reason to doubt that the Russians are still buying Facebook ads designed to divide and anger Americans?

In late 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a sample of Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked agents to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This tool reveals how they targeted demographics to spread disinformation, increase hostility and discourage voters.

Advertisers on Facebook can target users based on pages they follow. The Russians targeted over 700 interests, such as Texas secession and Bernie Sanders. We used an algorithm to cluster them into the topics shown here based on the number of times interests were targeted by the same ad.



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