Facebook: Russian-linked accounts bought $150000 in ads during 2016 campaign

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Facebook have revealed that hundreds of Russian accounts paid for political adverts on the social media platform during the United States 2016 presidential election campaign.

But the ads and accounts "appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum - touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights", Stamos wrote.

Through a broad search, Facebook found Russian Federation linked accounts bought approximately $50,000 in potentially politically related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads.

Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos said in a statement posted on Wednesday that the Menlo Park, Calif. -based company has shut down the accounts and pages identified.

Facebook did not specify whether these were traditional advertisements or sponsored posts, but said they were meant to amplify "divisive social and political messages" ranging from "LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights". The company also removed 30,000 fake accounts before the French elections in April and tens of thousands of accounts before the United Kingdom's snap election in June.

The revelations about ads on the social network can only add to the continuing political skirmishing in Washington over Russia's role in the election.

The tech firm also broadly searched for ads that might have ties to Russian Federation.

Facebook said it was co-operating with a U.S. investigation into the matter.

She declined to comment on the Facebook ads, saying she could not comment on subjects that could come before the agency.

Facebook said it was trying. At the time, a Facebook representative said that the company had seen "no evidence" of such ad-buying activity.

Facebook also discovered 470 suspicious and probably fraudulent accounts and pages it believes to be operated out of Russian Federation and linked to the company.

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

The company said it found no link to any presidential campaign.

About $50,000 of the funds - about 2,200 ads- were potentially related to US politics.

Not all politically-related advertising by foreigners is illegal in America.