The divisive—and sometimes bizarre—Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives were on display Wednesday as Facebook, Google, and Twitter execs appeared before congressional panels for a second day. The House Intelligence Committee released the ads, a wide selection of which can be seen here, in what it said was an effort to show just how hard the Kremlin had tried to polarize American voters before and after last year's election. The ads purchased by Russia's Internet Research Agency targeted Clinton, Trump, and Sanders voters as people on both sides of issues like the police violence and Black Lives Matter controversy. One ad posted the day before the election told Texans to be ready to secede if "Killary Rotten Clinton" won.
"My concern is that a dictator like Vladimir Putin abused flaws in our social media platforms to inject the worst kind of identity politics into the voting decisions of at least 100 million Americans," said Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, per the New York Times. Facebook execs said the ads reached almost 150 million users, more than previously disclosed. Facebook reported very strong quarterly earnings Wednesday, though Mark Zuckerberg warned that moves to boost security could cut into future profits, USA Today reports. "We're bringing the same intensity to these security issues that we've brought to any adversary or challenge we've faced," he said. "I'm dead serious about this." The company says it plans to double the number of security personnel to 20,000. "What they did is wrong and we're not going to stand for it," Zuckerberg said. (Read more Facebook stories.)