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Russian operatives spent less than $1 on Facebook ads to influence the Brexit vote

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Russian operatives spent less than $1 with advertising on Facebook in the months before the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, the company said on Wednesday (Dec. 13).

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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The Internet Research Agency, a notorious “troll factory” based in St. Petersburg and backed by the Russian government, bought just three ads, which were seen only 200 times in the two months before the vote.

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For the US presidential election, the Russian group spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and reached hundreds of millions of people.

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The UK Electoral Commission, which regulates political parties, voting, and fundraising, is investigating if Russia tried to influence the Brexit vote.

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The commission has also asked information from Twitter, which could give stronger evidence of a campaign by Russia.

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The Internet Research Agency operated more than 400 accounts that posted more than 3,400 messages mentioning Brexit on Twitter, according to researchers with the University of Edinburgh.

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