Facebook turns over thousands of Russia-linked ads to Congress

The move is part of the Russia probe.

ByABC News
October 2, 2017, 5:04 PM

— -- Facebook turned over more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads to congressional investigators Monday.

The social media company was expected to provide the advertisements to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which are all investigating Russian election interference. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee confirmed his committee received the ads.

"These ads are significant to our investigation as they help demonstrate how Russia employed sophisticated measures to push disinformation and propaganda to millions of Americans online during the election, in order to sow discord and chaos, and divide us from one another," said Schiff in a statement.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opposed releasing the advertisements.

“No investigative body should be the source of sensitive documents, and I consider any document for this investigation sensitive,” Burr said.

Last month, following an internal review, Facebook revealed it had discovered to 450 accounts and about $100,000 in ad spending linked to Russia that had spent on divisive issues during the U.S. presidential campaign.

Schiff said that his committee will seek "to determine what groups and individuals were most heavily targeted and why." He also promised a degree of transparency in the proceedings, saying that he hopes to release "a representative sampling" of the ads later in October to help "inoculate the public against future Russian interference in our elections."

"The American people deserve to see the ways that the Russian intelligence services manipulated and took advantage of online platforms to stoke and amplify social and political tensions, which remains a tactic we see the Russian government rely on today," he said in the statement.

Facebook and Twitter have both briefed Congress on the findings of their internal investigations.

Last week, Twitter revealed it had found 200 accounts linked to the Russian activity identified by Facebook.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Facebook, Twitter and Google to testify publicly in November about Russian use of the platforms during the election.

ABC News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.

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