Google Found Russian-Backed Ads in YouTube, Gmail, and Other Platforms

Google Found Russian-Backed Ads in YouTube, Gmail, and Other Platforms

However, it now appears that further investigation has found evidence of Russian-bought election ads on YouTube, Google Search, Gmail and the company's DoubleClick ad network ...

Google has discovered that Russian operatives spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on advertising associated with its products and services, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. Notably, the Post reports that the company responsible for buying the Facebook ads was not the same entity that purchased the Google ads.

Google officials are expected to testify publicly before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on 1 November alongside Facebook and Twitter about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election.

While Facebook, the company trailing Google in the online advertising race, has received scorn for its role in sharing disinformation leading up to last year's election, Google has largely been unscathed.

[Google is] always monitoring for abuse or violations of our policies and we've seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms.

Google's involvement in Russia's election interference comes as more information continues to come to light about the country's infiltration of several social media sites that were crucial sources of information for Americans ahead of the election.

The ads did not seem to originate from Internet Research, a Russian company that bought ads on Facebook, indicating a possibly broader Russian online-disinformation campaign, the paper reported. Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee reaffirmed the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation attempted to influence the election.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw an unprecedented cyber campaign to meddle in the election, with the apparent aim of promoting Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

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

Previously, both Facebook and Twitter admitted to Russian-bought ads on their respective platforms.

Parscale told correspondent Lesley Stahl that his primary job was to send hundreds of thousands of "carefully-tailored, low-priced digital ads" to millions of people on Google search, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Two weeks ago, Twitter also announced that it had also banned about 200 Russia-linked accounts.

You can read the Washington Post's report here.

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