While it is not yet clear whether the ads bought by Russians to influence the U.S. election had any impact, the New York Times argues that while Facebook enjoyed the revenues generated from it, it did so at the cost of democracy.
We are in the midst of a worldwide, internet-based assault on democracy. Scholars at the Oxford Internet Institute have tracked armies of volunteers and bots as they move propaganda across Facebook and Twitter in efforts to undermine trust in democracy or to elect their preferred candidates in the Philippines, India, France, the Netherlands, Britain and elsewhere. We now know that agents in Russia are exploiting the powerful Facebook advertising system directly.
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