Facebook's VP Speaks Out On Russian Election Meddling and Their Use of Facebook Ads

https://t.co/7FPN3TGfj5Alphabet and Facebook stock values are shown on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


Today, the vice president of advertising for Facebook, Rob Goldman, took to Twitter to give his take on Russian use of Facebook ads in the 2016. This is important because a key part of the campaign to delegitimize President Trump and, as they say, place an asterisk by his name as being elected by a foreign power. It is sort of frightening that Mueller’s indictment sort of feeds that (Mueller says the spent “thousands of dollars a month” on online ads) and John Brennan deliberately tried to keep that narrative alive:

Facebook has shared the ad expenses and copies of ads with Congress, and, as is clear from the indictment, has cooperated with the special counsel. Before going on to Goldman’s tweets, let’s review the facts of the Russian Facebook campaign. According to sworn testimony by Facebook’s general counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee in November, Russian accounts purchased $100,000 in pre-election ads. They spent on Twitter and Instagram, but for this story let’s keep an eye on Facebook alone. When you look at ads targeted at what turned out to be key battlegrounds, the expenditures are not impressive. This is from the Washington Post, also in November.


The Russian effort looks even less influential when one considers the tiny amount of Russian Facebook spending directed at key battleground states — $1,979 in Wisconsin, $823 in Michigan and $300 in Pennsylvania.

Now to the tweets:

Read this one again: “The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election.”


Eh, maybe or maybe not. I posted on this story. The the CIA denied it happened. Put what value you will on a CIA denial of a obvious leak from the CIA.

ummmkay. I’m not sure encouraging us to be more like Finland, Sweden, or the Netherlands is a compelling argument but I get what you’re saying.


I’m all in favor of due diligence and “know your customer.” I’m afraid that Facebook, being filled to the gills with SJWs, is going to be a lot more critical of ads by conservative groups than others. But verifying customers is a great starting point…in principle.

One the whole, Goldman’s analysis and approach seem reasonable. It is one of the few sane data points in this discussion.


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