Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Google Uncovers Russia-Paid Ads On YouTube, Gmail

Google Uncovers Russia-Paid Ads On YouTube, Gmail

In the height of Russian ad buys during the 2016 election, it wasn't just Facebook that got the attention, but Google too. Google refused to comment publicly on the report. Both Facebook and the other social-media giant, Twitter, have said that Russian entities bought ads and had accounts on their platforms.

Google to date has avoided for the most part scrutiny that has hit its biggest rival Facebook.

Google previously denied finding evidence of political ad-related interference on its platforms, but the people familiar with the investigation say the company is looking at a series of ads costing less than $100,000 that either came from trolls or legitimate Russian accounts. The ads also promoted Donald Trump, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Facebook found roughly 3,000 ads adverts linked to Russian Federation - but it has refused to publicly release them despite calls from congressional investigators.

Meanwhile, Congress has initiated several investigations into the matter that Russian-bought ads were a planned attack to rig the election and sow discord in the United States.

The posts were shared hundreds of millions of times, said Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.

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But EU officials have stubbornly refused to so far, claiming that not enough progress has been made on the Brexit divorce bill . Jensen called for compromise, saying "this will never be a 100 percent win for one side or the other side".

You can read the Washington Post's report here.

"We also looked for ads that might have originated in Russian Federation - even those with very weak signals of a connection and not associated with any known organised effort", the company wrote last month. Snap, however, told Recode that it has searched its data and found no evidence of any Russian-bought ads. Associated accounts are confirmed to have purchased ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Twitter shut down more than 200 accounts tied to the Kremlin.

It is possible that numerous accounts are not tied to the IRA, and that the scope of Russian meddling extends beyond what Facebook and Twitter have identified so far.

"We are taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries", a Google spokeswoman said on Monday.

Facebook turned those ads over to Congress and the special counsel's office, which are both investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of last year's election, and has agreed to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 1. USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow's goal was to help elect Donald Trump.

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