Google discovers Russian-bought ads

Google discovers Russian-bought ads

Google discovers Russian-bought ads

The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources "familiar with the company's investigation", on Monday reported that the Web giant discovered that Russian agents bought "tens of thousands of dollars" worth of ads to "spread disinformation" on its platforms like YouTube, Gmail, and search. Google runs the world's largest online advertising business and YouTube is the world's largest online video site. Facebook and Twitter have previously stated Russian agents spent money to push paid ads on their platforms to create disarray ahead of the election, that was eventually won by current USA president Donald Trump. Google has not yet said whether it has accepted an invitation to do the same.

Google did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Russian operatives bought Google ads and exploited the company's many platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new report out of Washington.

"We have a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion", said a spokesman for Google.

Google has found evidence that a Russian government campaign used the company's platforms to spread propaganda, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

But the ads do not appear to come from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farms that bought thousands of ads on Facebook meant to distribute disinformation online about the election, the report said. Some of these ads talk about the Green party candidate Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, while some promoted anti-immigrant sentiment and racial animosity to foster division in the United States, notes the report. Almost $275,000 worth of ads on Twitter were bought by RT, a Russian government-linked news outlet, during 2016.

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Facebook has said the Russian company had placed 3,000 ads on its network at a cost of about $100,000.

Facebook revealed last month that the company had found $100,000 in spending by the agency and has since pledged to become more transparent about their ad transactions.

Executives for Facebook and Twitter will testify before congressional investigators on November 1. Twitter has not said how many times the Russian disinformation was shared.

The content of the ads that flowed through Google was not clear.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian president Vladmir Putin intervened in the U.S. election to help Donald Trump win.

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