National correspondent

On Thursday, Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee released several-thousand ads that had been run on Facebook as part of Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. politics from mid-2015 through August of last year. We broke down the numbers behind those posts, including how many clicks they got each month and how much they cost.

We thought it would be interesting, though, to also pull out the most popular ads that were introduced each month to get a broad sense of which advertising efforts were actually effective. Below, the ad campaigns initiated in each month from June 2015 to August 2017 that received the most overall clicks. (No data is available for June 2017.)

We also included information about whom each ad was meant to target. The people purchasing the ads were often specific in where they wanted the ads to run and whom they wanted to target, usually based on political views or racial identity. Notice, though, that none of the most popular ads are specifically political, talking about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Instead, they’re broadly political, meant, it seems, to encourage association with divisive issues in U.S. politics.

June 2015

72,043 clicks


Targeting: United States

July 2015

21,449 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Gay pride, LGBT community, Homosexuality, LGBT culture or Same-sex marriage”

August 2015

2,341 clicks


Targeting: People who match “People who like LGBT United, Friends of connections: Friends of people who are connected to LGBT United”

September 2015

18,083 clicks


Targeting: People in Texas

October 2015

4,482 clicks


Targeting: People in Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, Oakland, Calif., Ferguson, Mo., St. Louis and Milwaukee who are interested in “Humanitarianism, Human rights or Humanitarian aid”

November 2015

24,838 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “BlackNews.com or HuffPost Black Voices”

December 2015

31,413 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Human rights or Malcolm X”

January 2016

2,592 clicks


Targeting: Black people who are interested in “National Museum of American History, Maya Angelou, Mumia Abu-Jamal, The Raw Story or motherjones”

February 2016

15,254 clicks


Targeting: United States

March 2016

5,441 clicks


Targeting: Adults younger than 65 who are interested in “Gay pride, LGBT community, Homosexuality, LGBT culture or Same-sex marriage”

April 2016

16,442 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Black(Color) or Racism in the United States”

May 2016

18,259 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Immigration, The Invaders or Politics”

June 2016

11,131 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Gay pride, LGBT culture, LGBT community or LGBT social movements”

July 2016

5,871 clicks


Targeting: People ages 14 to 40 interested in “Funny Photo’s, Funny Pictures, LOL or Funny Pics”

August 2016

18,796 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Martin Luther King, Jr., African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954-68), African-American history or Malcolm X”

September 2016

11,684 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Independence or Patriotism”

October 2016

73,063 clicks


Targeting: People 20 and older who are interested in “State police, Law enforcement in the United States, Police, Sheriffs in the United States, Law enforcement or Police officer, Support Law Enforcement, The Thin Blue Line, Officer Down Memorial Page, Police Wives Unite, National Police Wives Association or Heroes Behind The Badge”

November 2016

19,558 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Pan-Africanism, African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954-68), African-American history or Black(Color)”

December 2016

56,405 clicks


Targeting: People interested in La Raza as well as “Mexico, Latin hip-hop, Chicano Movement, Hispanidad, Lowrider or Chicano rap”

January 2017

15,590 clicks


Targeting: People interested in Jesus and “jesus love u or I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”

February 2017

49,197 clicks


Targeting: People 16 or older who are interested in “Black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Police misconduct, African-American culture, African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954-68), African-American history, Black Consciousness Movement, Martin Luther King I, Stop Police Brutality or Black(Color)”

March 2017

16,760 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Mexico, Latin hip-hop, ChicanoMovement, Hispanidad, Lowrider, Chicano rap or La Raza”

April 2017

30,775 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Hispanic and latino-american culture, Mexico, Being Chicano, Mexican american culture, Hispanic culture, Latino culture, Latin hip hop, Chicano, Chicano Movement, Hispanidad, Mexican Pride, Lowrider, Chicano rap or La Raza”

May 2017

17,694 clicks


Targeting: People interested in “Hispanic and latino-american culture, Mexico, Being Chicano, Mexican american culture, Hispanic culture, Latino culture, Latin hip hop, Chicano, Chicano Movement, Hispanidad, Mexican Pride, Lowrider, Chicano rap or La Raza”

July 2017

291 clicks


Targeting: “Very conservative” Americans interested in “Stop Illegal Immigration, Laura Ingraham, Fox News Channel, Ron Paul, Tucker Carlson, Rand Paul, Christianity, Bill O’Reilly (political commentator), Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, breitbart, Bible, Conservatism in the United States, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mike Pence, Michelle Malkin, Mike Huckabee, Jesus, The Blaze or Donald Trump Jr.”

August 2017

282 clicks


Targeting: “Very conservative” Americans interested in “Stop Illegal Immigration, Laura Ingraham, Fox News Channel, Ron Paul, Tucker Carlson, Rand Paul, Christianity, Bill O’Reilly (political commentator), Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, breitbart, Bible, Conservatism in the United States, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mike Pence, Michelle Malkin, Mike Huckabee, Jesus, The Blaze or Donald Trump Jr.”