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Facebook may still not know full extent of Russian ad buys

From Engadget - September 14, 2017

CNN's Dylan Byers writes that ad buys on Facebook are purchased via an automated self-service tool, which avoids any human interaction from the social network. Facebook's Andy Stone told CNN that there was not any communication between the people who bought the discovered ads and the website's sales team. This apparently happens with larger ad buys. While this might be one way to shift the blame from itself, notes Byers, Facebook will still need to figure out how to prevent these systems from being exploited in the future.

According to CNN, Facebook employees have taken to internal message boards to call for more transparency about the content of these ads. So far, the company has only said that the ads were not directly about the US election, but mainly focused on spreading social messages to help reinforce the divide between political sides - including "topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." About one-fourth of the ads were targeted to specific geographical locations, as well.

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