In three exhaustive hearings this week, executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google acknowledged that their platforms were used by Russia to try and create division over such disparate issues as immigration, gun control and politics. House investigators released a trove of Facebook and Twitter ads that showed just how extraordinary the cyber intrusion was. The companies’ admissions and disclosures were one of the first real wins for congressional investigators, who have been frustrated by delays since they launched probes into Russian election interference earlier this year.
Initially dismissive of Russia’s threat, all three companies have pledged improvements since lawmakers ramped up pressure and called them to testify. The few dozen ads released encouraged demonstrations against President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and fostered support and opposition to minority groups.