As many as 126 million Americans may have seen content uploaded to Facebook by Russia-based operatives since 2015.
That’s nearly half of the 270 million Americans who are old enough to be allowed a Facebook profile.
The figure comes from the social network itself, which along with Google and Twitter, is preparing for a Senate hearing where it will explain Russia’s impact on the popular sites.
But how many people have actually seen those posts?
Source: BBC Technology News
Date: December 17th, 2018
1) “126 million, is the “reach” of some 80,000 posts published between June 2015 and August 2017. Facebook defines a post’s “reach” as those people who may have come across the content (text story/video/image/ad) in their News Feed. A post counts as reaching someone when it’s shown in their News Feed. So this figure takes no account of the number of people who may or may not have stopped to actually read the post.” So, 126 million is not really the number of people “influenced” by possible Russian ads. How might you come up with a realistic number of people who were influenced by possible Russian ads?
2) “Facebook goes on to explain that the number of Americans who saw those posts directly is 29 million – a much smaller number.” What might it mean when Facebook says “saw directly”?
3) By a survey in class of your friends, from your last 24 hours of using Facebook, Instagram or other social media, what do you think the percentage of ads that have been shown to you that you actually were impacted by?