Here Are the Social Media Ads That Russia Used to Influence the Election

The House intelligence committee just released a bunch of startling examples.

The House intelligence committee on Wednesday released a trove of social media ads from 2016 that were created by firms connected to the Russian government with the purpose of influencing the election. The sample ads spanned a wide variety of divisive topics—religion, race gun control, and more—and appear to confirm lawmakers’ concerns that Russia sought to interfere in US politics by fomenting cultural tensions among voters. 

The public release comes amid startling reports that Facebook content generated by Russian operatives may have reached more than one-third of the the entire US population. This week, representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter appeared before Congress to explain how such efforts went undetected, as well as outline measures the companies are now taking to prevent future foreign political interference. 

The ads released Wednesday range from race-baiting screeds to a bizarre “Buff Bernie” coloring book. Here’s a sample:

Bernie Sanders and LGBT Issues

Anti-Immigrants Rants

Gun Control

“Killary” Clinton, the Military, and Benghazi

Despite the tech giants’ assurances that they are working to stop foreign propaganda from appearing on their platforms, recent studies show that Russian trolls continue to infiltrate American social media, with posts attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s credibility and pushing Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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