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
“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.