Facebook Exec: Russian Ads Weren’t Trying To Sway 2016 Election

Facebook Exec: Russian Ads Weren’t Trying To Sway 2016 Election

In a series of tweets, a top Facebook executive said Friday that the “Russians stole the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton” narrative is bogus.

Facebook advertising Vice President Rob Goldman said he was “very excited” to see the indictment special counsel Robert Mueller released Friday outlining charges against 13 Russian nationals. Mueller, who is leading the investigation into whether Trump or his campaign associates colluded with Russian officials to sway the 2016 election, charged these foreigners with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three of the 13 were charged with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Five were charged with aggravated identity theft.

Later that evening, Goldman tweeted that the social network shared with Congress the ads from Russian nationals to “help the public understand how the Russians abused our system.”

He explained that the ads made it apparent the goal was to divide the country, not to steal Hillary’s electoral victory.

Goldman concluded his tweet storm by saying Facebook was taking “aggressive steps to prevent this sort of meddling in the future.”

On Saturday President Trump retweeted Goldman’s thread explaining the ads, with the following message: “The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman!”

Trump’s tweet cause several media outlets to fly into a panic, leading them to double down on the “Russia made Hillary lose!” narrative all over again. Here’s a few headlines from around the web.

    • Quartz: “Facebook and Trump are telling the same misleading story about Russian propaganda”
    • Recode: “President Trump is using tweets from a Facebook executive to argue Russia didn’t influence the election”
    • Talking Points Memo: “Facebook Still Lying About Its Role in the 2016 Election”
    • New York Magazine: “Trump Cites Facebook Ad Executive in Attempt to Discredit Russia’s Election Meddling”
Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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