A Russian government-affiliated troll farm called Internet Research Agency bought a Black Lives Matter ad on Facebook targeting Ferguson and Baltimore, reports CNN, with "the apparent goal of the Russian buyers to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos."
Facebook refuses to release the ad publicly, citing issues of privacy, even though ad ran publicly in late 2015 or early 2016.
Facebook did not comment for this story but did point to a statement from Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, who said earlier this month that "the vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn't specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or a particular candidate."
"Rather," Stamos said, "the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights."
Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said this week that the aim of the ad-buyers "was to sow chaos."
"In many cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout," he told reporters.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will also hear from Twitter on Thursday about how foreign nationals may have used its ad service to influence the 2016 election. Twitter has declined to shed any light so far on what information it plans to give to Congress.