Leaked Descriptions Of Infamous "Russia Ads" Derail Collusion Narrative "They Showed Support For Clinton"

That was quick.

Less than a week after Facebook agreed to turn over to Congressional investigators copies of the 3,000-odd political advertisements that the company said it had inadvertently sold to a Russia-linked group intent on meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the contents of the ads have – unsurprisingly – leaked, just as we had expected them to.

Congressional investigators shared the information with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which has repeatedly allowed information about its investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russian operatives to leak to the press. Once this happened, we knew it was only a matter of time before the ads became part of the public record.  

And, shockingly, descriptions of the ads provided to the Washington Post hardly fit the narrative that Democratic lawmakers have spun in recent weeks, claiming the ads – which didn’t advocate on behalf of a specific candidate, but rather hewed to political issues like abortion rights – were instrumental in securing Trump’s victory.

After initially denying the story this spring, Facebook came clean earlier this month, saying its investigators had discovered that the company sold at least $100,000 worth of ads – and possibly as much as $150,000 – to Russia-linked group that bought the ads through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts.

WaPo reports that the ads represented issues on both sides of the ideological spectrum, which would suggest that the buyers didn’t intend to support a specific candidate, but rather their own unique agenda.

The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign.

 

The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics - also sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women.

Of course, support for Hillary Clinton among minority groups was less enthusiastic than it was for Barack Obama, suggesting that the ads perhaps weren’t as effective as some Democratic lawmakers would have voters believe. Despite the innocuous description, WaPo insisted on reporting that the ads were meant to “sow dischord” among different voting blocs that supported Clinton. The paper of record also reported that the targeted messages “highlight the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate US political discourse”…again without explaining exactly how they accomplished this.

These targeted messages, along with others that have surfaced in recent days, highlight the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another.

Yet, WaPo reports that the “nature and detail” of the ads has bothered investigators at Facebook and the Justice Department, as well as those working on behalf of the Congressional committees that are conducting independent investigations. The House and Senate Intelligence committees plan to begin reviewing the Facebook ads in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, the paper ran quotes from Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Schiff, two of the most vocal proponents of the Russia election-hacking conspiracy theory (it is only a theory, after all), describing the ads as part of a sinister effort to undermine the democratic process.

“Their aim was to sow chaos,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “In many cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout.”

 

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said he hoped the public would be able to review the ad campaign.

 

“I think the American people should see a representative sample of these ads to see how cynical the Russian were using these ads to sow division within our society,” he said, noting that he had not yet seen the ads but had been briefed on them, including the ones mentioning “things like Black Lives Matter.”

For a story that’s supposed to be about the content of political advertisements that are now at the center of a widely followed investigation (much like Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer and her entourage in Trump Tower was just a month ago), the WaPo story includes scant details about their contents. For whatever reason, the paper neglected to publish photos of the ads.

We imagine that whoever leaked the story probably figured that once readers see the ads and realize they’re indistinguishable from the rest of the political ad copy running on Facebook, voters will quickly lose interest.

However, that didn’t stop one expert from offering some helpful “context” meant to feed the hysteria without saying anything conclusive. As the paper notes, the expert quoted hasn’t even seen the ads.

While Facebook has downplayed the impact of the Russian ads on the election, Dennis Yu, chief technology officer for BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on Facebook ads, said that $100,000 worth of Facebook ads could have been viewed hundreds of millions of times.

 

“$100,000 worth of very concentrated posts is very, very powerful,” he said. “When you have a really hot post, you often get this viral multiplier. So when you buy this one ad impression, you can get an extra 20- to 40-times multiplier because those people comment and share it.”

 

Watts, the Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow, has not seen the Facebook ads promised to Congress, but he and his team saw similar tactics playing out on Twitter and other platforms during the campaign.

With little else to cling to, it appears that investigators – not to mention Trump’s critics - have invested so much in the Facebook interference narrative (not to mention Paul Manafort’s dealings with pro-Russian oligarchs), that admitting they were wrong would just be too damaging.

Comments

knukles land_of_the_few Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:06 Permalink

Keep the investigations going.Pretty soon some real shit's gonna float to the surface jettisoned by an unsuspecting miscreant thought to have sent it down the memory hole forever.Like the Commie Rat Assed Democrats being in collusion with the RussiansAnybody but me seeing the lefties keep pulling back with every investigation, allegation and the like.One manufactured shit storm after another each failing.

In reply to by land_of_the_few

knukles Stuck on Zero Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:44 Permalink

So, I agree with the DemocratsWe need to find out how Russia was interfering with our electoral process.How Russia was influencing ....Not pro Trump or Pro HillaryHow they were influencing.Bwahhhhanhhah ha haha haSee, this is how the law of unintended consequences comes back to bite the brain trust in the arseConsequences.Now, about all those rioters shut up all of a sudden.Who's telling you to pull back, slow down, can it?Hummm?And why.Why?  Why!  Somebody's gettin' a bit too close to a troof!Maybe figuring they're fucking with the unfuckable; Conspiracy to Overthrow?Don't fiddle fuck with your democracy, kiddies.Some folks take it serious.Like real serious.It's quiet out there.  Maybe too quiet.No, the Negro Football League doesn't count.Classic diversion.  Look, a Commie!Starting to look like the Teflon Don.  LOLEDIT  HOLD THE BOATIf Mark took money from foreign governments meant to influence the election, that makes him an acting agent for thopse actors (Russians, whomever) and he isn't registered as such.Federal Crime of Import!AND if he took money for any protests at say, Berkley of the like, that makes him complicit (As in aiding and abetting the overthrow) in sedition/conspiracy to overthrow, etc.I hope he gets the same underhanded unfair treatment in the public court that he give out.

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Endgame Napoleon MANvsMACHINE Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:36 Permalink

That marketing guy's hype reminds me of dozens of interviews for pyramid sales jobs. I do not buy the idea that Russians are sculpting the social and economic tensions in the U.S. polity, however clever their marketers are.

Establishment politicians are just using this to promote the fiction that their kumbaya, globalist trade & mass immigration policies actually work, if only Russians were not controlling the masses through FB ads.

Please....

The Swamp's crappy fiscal and socialism-for-some policies are helping to derail what's left of the American middle class, with automation doing the rest.

Hey globalists: Running on the same set of issues, Ross Perot would have siphoned off a lot more votes, assuming he failed to pull off a win back in the Nineties. He dropped out of the race for some reason.....

That was long before the days of Facebook or Russians using internet ads. Trump won because he was first [candidate] since Perot to be brave in addressing the corrupt, globalist status quo.

In reply to by MANvsMACHINE

gogobuffalo Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:37 Permalink

Of course the Russians threw in some token ads for Clinton.
These people are experts in their craft, and they know how to hide their real agenda: stealing the American election for their puppet Trump.

Glad to see ZHers starting to admit this.

rex-lacrymarum gogobuffalo Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:09 Permalink

Don't forget the evil Putin rays that were broadcast directly into the brains of Boobus Americanus from Moscow. If you looked closely at the Kremlin via Google Earth before the election, you could see the giant antenna sticking out from Vlad's office window. I guess you probably also noticed how everybody seemed to acquire a faintly Slavic sounding accent on selection day? If you dream of Cyrillic letters sometimes, then you know they are still targeting you personally... you know how it is, they fear really smart people like you who have figured it all out. It's a real pity we cannot make phone calls to hell by the way. Otherwise we could call Ted Kennedy and ask him what went wrong when he went to Moscow in 1983 and approached Yuri Andropov about helping him to discredit Reagan's campaign in 1984. Andropov was the general secretary of the communist party at the time, and as director of the KGB he had brutally and successfully suppressed the Hungarian uprising and the Prague spring, so he was clearly a consummate professional when it came to dealing with people who suddenly felt the urge to elect someone... and yet, his Andropov rays failed to derail Reagan's bid. Maybe you should focus your research on that area a bit, just to find out what makes Putin's mind-control weapons so much better. And be careful out there, those evil Russian spies know how to blend in. 

In reply to by gogobuffalo

BustainMovealota Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:38 Permalink

Ofcourse they wanted Cankles as their bitch,, she would play ball with the Russians.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

Dickweed Wang ipso_facto Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:52 Permalink

How much did Democrat campaigns spend on targeted Facebook ads? Not only that but consider that the bitch and her campaign spent upwards of ONE BILLION dollars during the election and we're supposed to believe that the Russian's influenced the election by spending $100,000 on Facefuck advertising . . . which everyone and their brother knows is TOTALLY ineffective (ask Proctor and Gamble if you don't believe me).  This whole thing is a textbook example of "grasping at straws".

In reply to by ipso_facto

Lumberjack Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:44 Permalink

No Shit...and Putin declined a Zhillary Clinton Foundation Event some time back. Queue pussy hat and Soros.

This psychological projection bullshit is textbook material.

BTW, on the NFL shit, the stadiums are private property and freedom of speech is limited. Same goes for dress code etc..ask the ladies at Goldman Sachs...

just being fair here.

On that note, the up and coming Susan Collins showed up at a place I worked at running fir her first term, It was at a mojor PR place and the management announced we stand up...

Two of us didn't....

DirtySanchez Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:42 Permalink

Zuck is a dangerous and duplicitous mother fucker.This piece of shit may very well be the anti christ.Hopefully, he gets hit and killed by a speeding semi, filled with illegal aliens.