Facebook: Russia spent 75p on three adverts to influence Brexit

Posted On: 
13th December 2017

Russia attempted to influence the EU referendum by spending less than 75p on three Facebook adverts, the social media giant has claimed.

Theresa May has told Vladimir Putin "we know what you are doing"
PA Images

In evidence to election watchdogs, Facebook said no more than 200 people were reached by the ads which were paid for by accounts linked to the controversial Internet Research Agency.

But it did not investigate ad spends from other accounts that could be linked to Russia - prompting a top MP to question its findings and call for more research to be done.

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It comes after the Electoral Commission asked the silicon valley firm for evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 referendum on European Union membership.

In a letter to the watchdog, Facebook said: "We strongly support the commission's efforts to regulate and enforce political campaign finance rules in the United Kingdom, and we take the commission's request very seriously."

But Tory MP Damian Collins, who chairs the Culture Media and Sport Committee, took to Twitter to argue Facebook should look deeper into Russian meddling by other accounts.



The Internet Research Agency was identified by the US Director of National Intelligence as having spent more than $100,000 on 3,000 Facebook adverts aimed at influencing the presidential election there.

Academics revealed in November that fake Twitter accounts based in Russia posted thousands of messages encouraging people to vote for Brexit ahead of the referendum.

Earlier that month,Theresa May told Russian president Vladimir Putin: “We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed.”