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  • Ashley Baker

Why Should We Fear Russian Political Ads?

By any measure, they are a drop in the ocean. And they’re hard to distinguish from domestic sentiments

"Alarm bells rang in the media and on Capitol Hill last month when Facebook announced its discovery and removal of a new wave of malicious political ads of probable Russian origin, indicating 'determined, well-funded adversaries who will never give up.'

...Some perspective is in order. Facebook’s announcement concerned the deletion of 32 pages and accounts that made 'inauthentic attempts to influence political discourse' by running some 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram between April 2017 and June 2018. The cost of the ads was $11,000, even less than the $46,000 that Russia, through its Internet Research Agency, spent on Facebook ads during the 2016 campaign.accounts

Whether viewed in monetary terms (the official Clinton and Trump campaigns alone spent $81 million on Facebook ads) or reach (28 of the 32 removed pages and accounts had fewer than 10 followers), the deleted pages’ influence on the American electorate could not have been more than a drop in the ocean..."

Read more of CFJ president Curt Levey's op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.


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