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On Wednesday, Facebook spoke to Congress about the findings as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 usa election.

The company said $100,000 (£77,000) was spent on about 3,000 ads over a two-year period, ending in May 2017.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos said that the company was reviewing a range of activity on its platform to investigate the serious claims that Russian interference could be tied to Facebook.

Facebook said it's continuing to investigate the issue and reported its findings to USA authorities.

Facebook conducted a broad review of ads on its platform, looking for ad buys that might have even a loose connection to Russian Federation.

USA intelligence officials said in January that the Kremlin had interfered in the election to help elect Trump, including by using paid social media trolls to spread fake news meant to influence the public. However, the ads focused on "divisive social and political messages" about hot-button topics including LGBT rights, race issues, immigration and gun rights. The company was also criticized for not only doing enough to stop the spread of fake news. In July, Facebook told WIRED it had found no indication of Russian entities buying entities during the election.

A Facebook employee said Wednesday that there were unspecified connections between the divisive ads and a well-known Russian "troll factory" in St. Petersburg that publishes comments on social media.

Facebook and other internet giants have been cracking down on "fake news" after being hit with criticism that rampant spread of bogus stories influenced the outcome of the USA presidential election.

"Our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content, so we won't be releasing any ads", the official said.

"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform", Stamos wrote.

News of Facebook's discovery came on the same day Facebook was accused of inflating its advertising reach.


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