Google Reportedly Finds Political Ads In Its Network Linked To Russia

Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on its YouTube, Gmail and Google Search products in an effort to meddle in the 2016 United States presidential election, a person briefed on the company's probe told Reuters on Oct 9.

Russian operatives bought tens of thousands of dollars of advertising on the giant internet search engine Google previous year in an attempt to help real estate mogul Donald Trump win the US presidency, according to a new report from The Washington Post. The sources also note that the search giant is still wading through data to figure out if the source of the ads we merely trolls or legitimate accounts from within Russian Federation.

Utilizing accounts assumed to be linked to the Russian government, the agents bought $4,700 worth of search ads and additional conventional exhibition ads, in accordance with an individual habitual with the Company's analysis who was not permitted to talk about it publicly.

Google has uncovered less than US$100,000 (RM422,345) in ad spending potentially linked to Russian actors, the source said.

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, runs the world's largest online advertising business and YouTube is the world's largest online video site.

The company had previously said it had found no evidence of this kind of activity.

Russia's promotion buys on Google were first revealed by the Washington Post.

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Google, the online giant and one of the world's largest advertising businesses, said it had "a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion". Twitter has not said how many times the Russian disinformation was shared.

Executives for Facebook and Twitter will testify before congressional investigators on November 1.

Separately, the Daily Beast reported that Russian Federation recruited fervent supporters of President Donald Trump to make YouTube videos that bashed his campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

Silicon Valley's tech giants have come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers amid revelations that they may have helped last year's presidential election.

The Washington Post earlier reported that the technology behemoth uncovered the Russian-backed disinformation campaign as it considers whether to testify before Congress next month, also citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.

Information for this article was contributed by Mark Bergen and Gerrit De Vynck of Bloomberg News.

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