Following reports that Facebook had allowed dodgy Russian accounts to buy advertising on its website has landed the company in Hot Water. Ads worth $100000 might have then been turned into propaganda tools in the lead-up to the presidential elections last year. The company has, however, decided to make a full disclosure of all the details related to the ad buys and handed over all the relevant materials to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

Warrant Issued

According to a report by CBS News, Facebook has not handed over the documents voluntarily, and the company provided the materials only after a warrant had been issued.

The company's policies state that it will disclose information about the activities of Facebook account holders only if the authorities issue a warrant. The company has now disclosed that at least 470 phony Russian accounts bought ads amounting to $100,000 and the practice went on from the middle of 2015 to May 2017.

Plenty of ads were purchased in the lead-up to the presidential elections as well, and that is probably the reason why it has now become a matter of interest for Special Counsel Rober Mueller, who is in charge of the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential elections. It is believed that these accounts were nothing more than Russian fronts and were used to influence the political discourse in the United States.

Political mobilization

According to Jeff Pegues of CBS News, the advertises bought by those accounts had often been used to spread false news and mislead Facebook users about the political climate in the country. For instance, information regarding an anti-immigration rally taking place in Idaho was found out to be false, and the misinformation originated from one of these Russian accounts.

The ads even urged American citizens to take action against such a rally and needless to say; it must be seen as a ploy to destabilize the country through the dissemination of false information.

As a result, Facebook's inability to screen these accounts and stop them from spreading false information has come in for heavy criticism from many quarters.

Senator Mark Warner spoke to CBS News and said that he believes that the number of accounts involved in the whole racket is more than what has been made public. He added, "And frankly, Facebook, who prides itself on knowing more about you and me than frankly, the United States government knows, I got to believe they know more about this or could find more out about it if they put adequate resources behind it."