By Kenneth White
House Intelligence Committee members released another round of sponsored posts that highlight the influence of Russian propaganda on both the Black Lives Matter campaign and the readers of Fox News Facebook pages, such as Sean Hannity. The divisive ads were created by the Internet Research Agency
A former worker for the agency, Vitaly Bespalov said this about his daily routine at IRA, “Lies…a merry-go-round of lies…when you get on the carousel, you do not know who is behind you and neither you are aware of who is in front of you — but all of you are running around within the same circle.” Bespalov told NBC News that he “absolutely” believes the agency was connected to the Kremlin.
Facebook received nearly $100,000 from the troll farm to run anti-immigrant ads to fans of Fox News pages and purchased ads in large batches following shootings in the USA. The ads also promoted events organized by Americans who were unaware their political rallies and protests were being fueled by a Russian disinformation campaign. According to Facebook metadata, the ads were seen over 33 million times and clicked on by at least 3.7 million users.