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Majority of the Russian-Bought Facebook Ads Appeared After the 2016 Election

Around 10 million Americans saw the Facebook ads over a two-year window, and 56 percent of impressions occurred after the election.

Facebook will most likely see a slew of bad headlines regarding Russian-bought ads that were allegedly part of an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. However, the scope of the ads’ influence has been called into question as more data roll out.

Facebook’s Vice President of Policy and Communications, Elliot Schrage, wrote in a statement delivered to Congress on Monday that, “an estimated 10 million people in the [U.S.] saw the ads.”

However, Axios’ Sara Fischer reported that these “10 million people saw at least one of the Russia ads over a two-year window, which likely isn’t enough to actually influence one’s political opinion.”

Schrage also wrote that “44% of total ad impressions (number of times ads were displayed) were before the [U.S.] election on November 8, 2016; 56% were after the election.”

What this means: the American electorate didn’t even see a majority of the Russian-bought ads until after they had cast their votes for president.

Facebook has already proactively announced changes to its advertisement policy, to go along with plans to add more than 1,000 people to review the ads and has turned “over more than 3,000 of the Russia-linked advertisements from its site over to the Senate and House intelligence committees.”