Here Are the Social Media Ads That Russia Used to Influence the Election

The House intelligence committee just released a bunch of startling examples.

The House intelligence committee on Wednesday released a trove of social media ads from 2016 that were created by firms connected to the Russian government with the purpose of influencing the election. The sample ads spanned a wide variety of divisive topics—religion, race gun control, and more—and appear to confirm lawmakers’ concerns that Russia sought to interfere in US politics by fomenting cultural tensions among voters. 

The public release comes amid startling reports that Facebook content generated by Russian operatives may have reached more than one-third of the the entire US population. This week, representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter appeared before Congress to explain how such efforts went undetected, as well as outline measures the companies are now taking to prevent future foreign political interference. 

The ads released Wednesday range from race-baiting screeds to a bizarre “Buff Bernie” coloring book. Here’s a sample:

Bernie Sanders and LGBT Issues

Anti-Immigrants Rants

Gun Control

“Killary” Clinton, the Military, and Benghazi

Despite the tech giants’ assurances that they are working to stop foreign propaganda from appearing on their platforms, recent studies show that Russian trolls continue to infiltrate American social media, with posts attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s credibility and pushing Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.