Google Uncovers Russia-Paid Ads On YouTube, Gmail

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It appears that Google's previous statement was based on finding no ads from the Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook, but closer examination has found ads placed by other agents linked to the Russian government.

Google nevertheless launched its own investigation, as Congress pressured tech companies to determine how operatives from Russian Federation used online advertising, social media and other tools to help influence the presidential election of 2016 and create discord across society in the U.S. Both Twitter Inc and Facebook have said that Russian Federation bought ads and had accounts on their platforms.

Facebook published a blog post on September 6, 2017, revealing that the company found about $100,000 in ad purchases between June 2015 and May 2017 - associated with roughly 3,000 ads connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and pages in violation of it policies.

Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads across Google products, including YouTube and Google search, according to a report.

While Facebook has always been a perceived (albeit unwilling) culprit in the ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election, Google has largely avoided any significant bombshells. Google had previously said it had seen no evidence of Russian-bought election ads on its platforms. Google will also meet privately with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees prior to next month's public hearing, a source at the company confirmed. The hearing they will attend relates to ads, accounts and other activity ahead of the 2016 United States election. Social media companies Facebook and Twitter have already agreed to testify.

The sources added that the company ascertain whether this ad bought a "Troll" or some of them were paid from ordinary Russian accounts.

Meanwhile, Twitter said that it shut down 201 accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency. Reports indicate the Russians using Google's sites are a different group than those involved with Facebook, so the problem appears to be wider spread than many originally anticipated.

As The Washington Post noted: "The campaign poured money into Facebook, sending thousands of versions of tweaked ads to maximize response".

The U.S. Congress has opened multiple investigations to determine the level of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Two weeks ago, Twitter also announced that it had also banned about 200 Russia-linked accounts.



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