As the drip, drip, drip of the Facebook-Russia scandal that rocked the 2016 presidential election continues, another damning revelation has emerged: some of the ads were targeted at residents in key battleground states.
Two states in particular, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the race was won by 10,704 votes and 22,748 votes, respectively, were mentioned in a CNN report breaking the news. Both played a big role in President Donald Trump cinching the Electoral College vote, despite losing the popular vote by 3 million.
Some of the ads, which are now being reviewed by Congress, targeted there promoted anti-Muslim messages, according to CNN’s unnamed sources. The outlet pins its overall report on “four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.”
Around 10 million Facebook users saw 3,000 Russia-bought political ads during the campaign, the platform announced Monday. About a quarter of the ads were meant to be seen by users in particular geographic locations, Facebook has said, without denoting where. Russia-linked actors spent $100,000 on the ads.
Only recently has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg loosened his defenses about the company’s role in the election. Earlier he had said it was “crazy” to think that Facebook could play such a large role in the campaign.
This story is developing.