Russian-linked Facebook ads aimed at Wisconsin, Michigan

Russian-linked Facebook ads aimed at Wisconsin, Michigan

Russian-linked Facebook ads aimed at Wisconsin, Michigan

The latter saw Facebook's comprehensive (and controversial) ad targeting tool utilized to target groups in key areas of MI and Wisconsin, people with knowledge on the matter told CNN.

Some of those ads targeted specific demographic groups in the two states, according to sources who spoke to CNN.

"Most of the ads appear to focus on divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights", Schrage wrote.

MI saw the closest presidential contest in the country - Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by about 10,700 votes out of almost 4.8 million ballots cast. It is also not yet clear when in 2016 those targeting Wisconsin and MI made their appearance.

Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are widely seen as the keys to Trump's victory in the Electoral College.

The sources did not specify when in 2016 the ads ran in MI and Wisconsin.

Top Russian officials have repeatedly refuted the allegation of Moscow's meddling in the United States election.

White House officials could not be reached for comment on this story.

Just as Facebook announced the "findings", US President Donald Trump rushed to accuse the media of bias over a continuing "Russia hoax".

The Russians interfered in the election.

Until now, it was unclear which areas of the country the Russians had been targeting with their Facebook ads. The company said it sold $100,000 worth of ads to these sources.

Last month, people in Russian Federation supposedly purchased about 3,000 politically diverse ads on the network in the the months prior and after the November U.S. presidential election. We know that our experience is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. The same advertisements also apparently tried to make Hillary Clinton out to be a friend of Muslims, and pushed the message that Trump would halt the Muslim influx into America.

The messages were ultimately intended for those who agreed with Trump's hard-line stance against immigration and calls to ban Muslims from entering the USA, the source said.

Facebook is cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's alleged social media interference during the elections. Schiff said he intends to publish a representative sample of the ads. However, then both the company and its founder Mark Zuckerberg failed to back their revelations with any solid evidence proving such Russian intervention, saying that they are "limited" in what they can share publicly about the findings.

Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the House intelligence panel's Russian Federation probe, said he was inclined to release them publicly, though he wanted to see them first.

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