Russia’s not the only country who knows how to troll.
Two Democratic senators created a Facebook page for a fake political group, just to prove that they could.
Ads for the page — created by Mark Warner of Virginia and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar — were able to reach 1,407 Washington D.C.-based journalists, and 1,369 other Capitol Hill staffers. They only paid $20.
Yes. That’s how easy it is to spread fake news.
The page promoted a non-existent political group called Americans for Discourse Solutions. Over 24 hours, the two senators bought ads to target the staffers and journalists in question.
It’s important to note that “reach” doesn’t mean that the aforementioned journalists and staffers actually saw or clicked the ads — it just means the ads were on their Facebook feeds, and could have been seen.
But a spokesperson for Warner told Axios that the senators were never required to verify their identities while creating and promoting the page.
So while the ad didn’t do any damage, it’s concerning that in the wake of massive investigations into “fake news” spreading on Facebook, it remains relatively easy for users to promote fictional groups.