Russians said to have bought $100000 of election ads on Google


The ads appear not to be from the same Russian trolls from the Internet Research Agency that advertised on Facebook.

Nevertheless, Google launched an investigation into the matter, as Congress pressed technology companies to determine how Russian operatives used social media, online advertising, and other digital tools to influence the 2016 presidential contest and foment discord in U.S. society.

US Congressional investigators have recently focused on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media, and have pressured Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, to release any Russia-linked ads. The Washington Post report is based on anonymous sources familiar with the investigation. From these Twitter accounts, Google found links to ad purchases using its services. However, the Google ads were reportedly not purchased by the same Vladimir Putin-affiliated group that bought ads on Facebook, meaning the problem could be more widespread than thought.

San Francisco: Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail, Google search and other products.

Google has avoided the intense scrutiny Facebook has been subjected to over the response to alleged Russian electoral interference, however this could change as the investigation continues. In September, a spokesperson for Google said the company always monitors for any violations of abuse of its policies and has seen nothing to indicate there was an ad campaign run across its platforms.

And, a significant discovery has been that the source of the funding for the ads, appears to be different from those identified by Facebook. Snap, however, told Recode that it has searched its data and found no evidence of any Russian-bought ads.

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Google is, however, assisting Facebook with their investigation and vice a versa.

The three companies have been asked to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on November 1.

Meanwhile, Twitter said that it shut down 201 accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency.

While these ads were timed around the USA election, they rarely focused directly on that subject. Two weeks ago, Twitter also announced that it had also banned about 200 Russia-linked accounts.

About $150,000 worth of fake Facebook ads, capable of reaching more than 10 million users, touched on hot-button issues like race, immigration and gun control.

Congressional committees have launched several investigations into the Russian interference in the US presidential elections.