19 Feb'18

Facebook’s Advertising Executive criticises media for misrepresenting Russian manipulated ads


Facebook’s Advertising Executive, Rob Goldman, accused the media for not accurately reporting Russian’ use of Facebook to post manipulative adverts.


Rob Goldman stated that the majority of the Russian ad spend happened after the 2016 US elections. See tweet below:



In Goldman’s tweet thread, he added ‘The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us.’


President Trump retweeted Goldman’s tweet with the caption ‘The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore the fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads’.


Business Insider reported that following Goldman’s tweet, Facebook came under fire. Adding to this, BI stated that Goldman’s tweet ‘launched a debate over whether Goldman should have publicly criticised coverage of Facebook in a way that is easily misconstrued as support for Trump’.

Below are some examples of individuals criticising Goldman:



Goldman’s tweets came after the news that US investigators announced that Robert Muller and his team had ‘indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities’. The Guardian reported that the ‘indictment provided powerful new evidence that a Russian election-tampering plot’.


In a more recent report Business Insider stated that Goldman’s tweet ‘seemed to contradict the work done by Mueller and his investigation team.’


Following the criticism Goldam received, he send a message of apology to his colleagues. As quoted by WIRED, Goldman said:


‘I wanted to apologize for having tweeted my own view about Russian interference without having it reviewed by anyone internally. The tweets were my own personal view and not Facebook’s. I conveyed my view poorly. The Special Counsel has far more information about what happened [than] I do—so seeming to contradict his statements was a serious mistake on my part.’