10 million people saw the Russia-linked ads on Facebook

One source, who had direct knowledge of the Facebook ads, said some of the ads being used in the two states were aimed at reaching people who may be easily triggered by anti-Muslim posts.

It is unclear whether the ads will eventually be released publicly.

Other than misrepresenting the groups behind them, numerous ads didn't break Facebook's rules regarding content, the company said. Wisconsin too was a tight race, with Trump grabbing victory by 22,700 votes.

Trump carried both states by less than 1%.

The sources did not specify when in 2016 the ads ran in MI and Wisconsin.

Facebook said last month that that it had found thousands of ads linked to Facebook accounts that likely operated out of Russian Federation and pushed divisive social and political issues during the USA presidential election.

At this point, Facebook is no longer denying that it had a hand in putting Donald Trump in the White House.

As previously reported on The Root, Facebook ads purchased by the Russian-government-affiliated troll farm the Internet Research Agency referenced Black Lives Matter and specifically targeted people in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.

What the information does show is how low-priced it can be for a person who is both clever and presumably familiar with the Facebook ad system to target groups in a manner meant to change their opinions or actions. The information regarding these ads has been forwarded to government agencies who are investigating a possible involvement of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Facebook has revealed that around 10m people in the USA saw the Russia-linked ads, that were aimed at impacting the 2016 presidential election, from June 2015 to May 2017.

Republicans and Democrats have acknowledged the sophistication in the Russian ad campaign.

Facebook's disclosure came just hours after it gave congress detailed record of the ads, including data about the buyers and their targeting efforts. We know that our experience is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle.

The messages were ultimately intended for those who agreed with Trump's hard-line stance against immigration and calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., the source said.

Facebook confirmed late Sunday that it would share approximately 3,000 Kremlin-linked political ads with congress as part of an ongoing investigation.

That kind of reach is stunning given the relatively modest budget of $100,000 spent by Russian trolls linked to the ads. Earlier this month, the company claimed it found no evidence that it sold election-related ads to Russian entities. None of the companies has said if it will attend the hearing.

  • Leroy Wright