World

80,000 Facebook posts by Russian operatives seen by 126 million Americans

WASHINGTON Facebook said that Russia-based operatives published about 80,000 posts on the social network over two years to try to sway US politics, and that about 126 million Americans may have seen the posts during that time.

Facebook's latest data on the Russia-linked posts - possibly reaching around half of the US population of voting age - far exceeds the company's previous disclosures.

It was included in testimony provided to US lawmakers, and seen by Reuters, ahead of hearings with social media and technology companies about Russian meddling in elections on Capitol Hill this week.

Twitter separately has found 2,752 accounts linked to Russian operatives, a source said. That estimate is up from a tally of 201 accounts that Twitter reported in September, Reuters reported.

Google said on Monday that it had found US$4,700 ($6,400) in Russia-linked ad spending during the 2016 US election cycle, and that it would build a database of election ads.

Facebook's general counsel Colin Stretch said that the 80,000 posts violated Facebook's terms of service, and any amount of such activity using fake accounts is too much.

Moscow insisted yesterday there is no evidence that it interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, AFP reported.

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