Google Has Found Russian-Bought Ads On Its Ad Network, YouTube

Kristi Paul
October 10, 2017

Facebook has turned the details of those ads over to investigators. They include YouTube, Gmail, Google Search and others.

Google for the first time revealed Monday that Russian Federation purchased ads in order to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election for then-Republican candidate Donald Trump's benefit, according to the Washington Post.

Google officials are expected to testify in front of Congress on November 1 on the issue, along with representatives from Facebook and Twitter.

News of Google's discovery comes after Facebook last month revealed that 470 "inauthentic" accounts and Pages that "likely operated out of Russia" spent approximately $100,000 between June 2015 and May 2017 on 3,000 ads on its platform.

Now with Google under scrutiny too, there could be even more pressure to make these ads public.

The company apparently discovered the presence by accessing data from Twitter, which is something Twitter charges for if the user wants to mine all the way back to 2006, but is free of charge up to a certain point. Google refused to comment publicly on the report.

Google has discovered Russians spent thousands of dollars on advertisements on YouTube, Gmail and other Google advertising to influence the 2016 US presidential election, according to a new report by Reuters.

Google is the world's largest online advertisement platform.

Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election by spreading misinformation went beyond the social networks used by millions of Americans.

Though the videos were only viewed hundreds of times, they demonstrated for the first time that Russian Federation allegedly deployed real people, not just fake online accounts or bots, to further spread propaganda.

Google is "taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries", it said.

"If Vladimir Putin is using Facebook or Google or Twitter to, in effect, destroy our democracy, the American people should know about it", Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said Monday on MSNBC.

Evidence is emerging that Russia's meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections may be more elaborate than is now known and being reported.

Questioned by AFP, a spokesman for Google merely to indicate that the group "had a series of very strict rules in terms of sponsored content, including limits on the targeting of political content sponsored and the prohibition to target content according to the race and the religion".

The Trump campaign used the technology to "microtarget on a scale never seen before", according to Parscale, who also noted that he specifically requested Republican employees from these social media and digital companies to embed with the campaign.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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