Report: Russia Facebook ad showed black woman firing rifle to provoke racial tension

An advertisement purchased by Russians on Facebook showed photos of a black woman pulling the trigger of a rifle that contained no bullets, according to The Washington Post.

The ad was among more than 3,000 Facebook ads that the social media platform says were purchased by 470 accounts linked to a Russian troll farm, the report said. The ad was passed along to congressional investigators who are probing the extent of Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Post, the ad may have been intended to provoke fear among white people and to encourage black militancy, investigators believe.

Another ad shared with Congress showed photos of Hillary Clinton behind what looks like prison bars, the report said.

Facebook said Monday that an estimated 10 million people before and after the election viewed Russia-linked ads on the platform. The company turned 3,000 ads over to three congressional committees Monday.

The social media giant recently revealed that it sold $100,000 in ad spending between June 2015 and May of this year that was connected to "inauthentic" accounts that analysts concluded were operated out of Russia.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, said that Facebook is taking a series of steps, to protect election integrity moving forward.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.