House Dems reportedly plan to release thousands of Russia-linked Facebook ads


Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee reportedly plan to release details about 3,000 Facebook ads linked to the Russian campaign to influence the last presidential election.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the files could be released as early as this week and may show images of the promoted material, which demographic groups were targeted and how many people saw them.

“We have been in ongoing discussions with Facebook and hope to have the final redacted ads in our possession within a matter of days,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, stated. “As soon as we receive them, it is our intention to share them with the public.”

In September, Facebook announced that it had been paid $100,000 to promote thousands of ads that were linked to the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency. Many focused on divisive political or social issues and were designed to sow division in the lead up to the 2016 election.

Lawmakers released redacted copies of some of the advertisements last year that focused on immigration, same-sex marriage and gun control. Facebook later said more than 126 million people potentially saw the ads purchased by the Russians. 

Schiff’s efforts come just a weeks after Republicans on the Intelligence Committee released a 250-page report that said they had uncovered no evidence of collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff
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Rep. Adam Schiff
U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ranking member Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speak with the media about the ongoing Russia investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacts to Committee Chairman Devin Nunes statements about surveillance of U.S. President Trump and his staff as well as his visit to the White House, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a town hall meeting on healthcare reform in Alhambra, California, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES HEALTH POLITICS)
Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (R) speak during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on March 20, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during a news conference discussing Russian sanctions on Capitol Hill February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Adam Schiff arrives at the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)
GLENDALE, CA - OCTOBER 07: Congressman Adam Schiff poses with guests at the HAAS Spine And Orthopaedics Official Opening Reception held at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics Center on October 7, 2016 in Glendale, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks through the crowd on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats dissented, arguing that the investigation was not fully completed, just abandoned. Schiff said the termination amounted to “a great service to the president and a profound disservice to the country.”

Lawyers from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified before Congress last October and November amid growing public outrage over the revelations; however, they initially frustrated lawmakers with their limited promises to improve monitoring of such content.

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress last month following the separate Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the mishandling of user data. He had previously expressed broad support for government regulation of the network: “The question isn’t, ‘Should there be regulation or shouldn’t there be?’ It’s ’How do you do it?”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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