>> Democrats in Congress on Wednesday released a hefty sampling of the infamous Russian backed Facebook ads from the 2016 campaign. As the storm over Moscow's use of an American social media to sway the race played out in hearing rooms across the capital.>> In the path election, you failed.
>> The ads blanketed both Facebook and Instagram and were funded by the Kremlin, but disguised as activist organizations for everything from gun rights to fighting police violence. One ad saying satan would win if Hillary Clinton was elected. Another advertising a coloring book featuring a Physically fit caricature of Bernie Sanders.
Cybersecurity reporter Dustin Volz is on the story.>> These ads reveal a lot about Russia's motives here and the true extent of their alleged interference. In one instance, Russia was promoting an event in Houston, Texas that was an anti-Islam rally. At the same time, however, a separate group also controlled by Russia was promoting an event at the same time and location that was pro-Islam.
The intent here appeared to be getting Americans to meet in one location at the same time, to essentially fight or argue over a very politically divisive event in the real world. Wednesday's hearing revealed 20 million Americans may have seen such content on Instagram, owned by Facebook, on top of the 126 million people who saw it on Facebook.
>> There should be a red flag.>> You can not allow what's going on.>> Law makers in the senate and House Intelligence Committees hammered home the message that Facebook, Twitter, and Google must do a better job of policing foreign attempts to exploit their platforms which could be ominous for the tech industry.
>> The tech companies are terrified of regulation from Congress. There is legislation out called the Honest Ads Act that would require them to disclose who is paying for political ads that appear on their services in a way that's similar to radio or television. A lot of the companies have come forward and said they're gonna do new things that increase the transparency of advertising, but that they don't yet support this kind of regulation.
>> We've identified areas for improvement. In terms of tightening our ad content guidelines.>> Despite the grilling, it's getting over the ads from Russia, Facebook said Wednesday its ad revenue soared in the latest quarter. The company saying in a statement it's serious about preventing abuse on the platform, and that the cost of doing so will hit its bottom line.