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In recent years, those services have updated their propaganda protocols to take advantage of new technologies and the proliferation of social media platforms."Is it a goal of the Kremlin to encourage discord in American society? "More generally, Putin has an idea that our society is imperfect, that our democracy is not better than his, so to see us in conflict on big social issues is in the Kremlin's interests."Clinton Watts, part of a research team that was among the first to warn publicly of the Russian propaganda campaign during the 2016 election, said that identifying and exploiting existing social and cultural divisions are common Russian disinformation tactics dating back to the Cold War."We have seen them operating on both sides" said Watts, a fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent.When Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his college dorm room in 2004, no one could have anticipated the company would become an advertising juggernaut worth almost half a trillion dollars — the largest online advertising company in the world after Google.The nature and detail of these ads has troubled investigators at Facebook, on Capitol Hill and at the U. Justice Department, say people familiar with the advertisements who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share matters still under investigation.The House and Senate Intelligence committees plan to begin reviewing the Facebook ads in coming weeks as they attempt to untangle the operation and other matters related to Russia's bid to help elect Trump in 2016."Their aim was to sow chaos," said Sen.
It's not unique to the United States and it's a global phenomenon," said Malkia Cyril, a Black Lives Matter activist in Oakland, California.
The previously-undisclosed ads suggest that Russian operatives worked off of evolving lists of racial, religious, political and economic themes.