In a letter to Britain's Electoral Commission, Facebook said it found 470 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, and said the agency had spent only 97 cents on three ads seen by British audiences during the Brexit campaign. It's unlikely, however, that the 200 people who saw the ads were likely to have formed an opinion based on those ads, and even if they had, there were nowhere near enough voters affected to have swayed the vote where Leave voters won by a 4% margin.
Among the accounts that we have previously identified as likely funded from Russian sources, we have thus far identified one account-@RT_com- which promoted referendum-related content during the regulated period.
These three adverts ended-up "delivering approximately 200 impressions to United Kingdom viewers over four days in May 2016", the company says.
It said it found no more than three adverts that cost less than $1 to post in total.
Facebook said Russian-backed groups spent less than £1 on advertising linked to Britain's referendum previous year to leave the European Union, according to a letter sent to the country's Electoral Commission.
The establishment Financial Times newspaper, a staunch europhile outlet which once argued for Britain to join the crisis-wracked euro currency zone, chose to report this news under the arguably misleading headline "Russia-linked accounts were active on Facebook ahead of Brexit".
The social media site said it supported the EC's efforts "to regulate and enforce political campaign finance rules in the United Kingdom, and we take the Commission's request very seriously".
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'Further to your request, we have examined whether any of the identified Internet Research Agency pages or account profiles funded advertisements to audiences in the United Kingdom during the regulated period for the European Union referendum.
Facebook's investigation examined pages it identified as being run by the Internet Research Agency, a troll army based in St Petersburg that has ties to the Kremlin.
Britain's Electoral Commission had requested that Facebook look into any dubious activity in last year's Brexit vote after an earlier probe by the firm into alleged Russian meddling in the USA election uncovered more than 3,000 ads targeting US voters.
The Kremlin has denied any interference with the referendum process.
Collins told Dorsey: "Whilst the inquiry being conducted by the Electoral Commission is extremely important, it is completely separate and different in nature to the inquiry that my committee is undertaking".
The Russian government did, however, try to sow discord in the United Kingdom in 2014 in the wake of the failed Scottish independence referendum, The Scotsman newspaper separately reported Wednesday, citing new research from the Atlantic Council, a USA -based think tank.
Mr Collins said he had met with Facebook to ask for a full response to any Russian activity linked to the 2017 General Election as well as the EU Referendum.