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During a Tuesday hearing with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, said most of the Russian ads on the company's platform were used to direct the social network's users to related pages on the site, where they could view unpaid posts from the groups.

Specifically, CFO David Wehner says Facebook plans for expenses to grow 45 % to 60% in 2018 as Facebook invests in better security to thwart Russian election attackers, more content for its Watch tab of original video, and research for its long-term bets on artificial intelligence, Oculus, and augmented reality.

Russian-linked operatives bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertisements across Twitter, Facebook and Google, and impersonated Americans online to spread divisive content and fake news to real voters across the country. You have a huge problem on your hands and you bear the responsibility.

That comes after Zuckerberg opened wrote in today's earnings release that "We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms".

Senate Intelligence Committee members instead interrogated the companies over their past and current efforts to curb Russian manipulation of their platforms, frequently expressing displeasure with the answers they received.

"If we go through this exercise again, we would appreciate seeing the top people who are making the decision", said Senator Angus King, an independent.

However, they will not endorse the Honest Ads Act.

Sean Edgett, Twitter's acting general counsel, said less than 5 percent of its accounts were automated.

An anti-Clinton, anti-establishment, pro-secession ad placed by "Heart of Texas" in October 2016, aimed at people who liked that Facebook group, generated 16,168 impressions and 2,342 clicks. "They are much more widespread than one election", Rubio said.

King, who called Russia's influence online a "sophisticated worldwide strategy", used information compiled by Alliance for Securing Democracy to show that Russian Federation continues to try and interfere in American discourse by propagating hashtags related to President Donald Trump's attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Trump's catchphrase "MAGA", and the ongoing conflict in Syria.

One ad promoted a "Support Hillary - Save American Muslims" event that was set for outside the White House on July 9, 2016.