Google Finds Russian-Linked Ads on Gmail, YouTube and More

Google Finds Russian-Linked Ads on Gmail, YouTube and More

"We take the trust of the Facebook community seriously", the ad reads. Microsoft is reportedly reviewing sales records as part of the process and is looking to take steps to prevent "inappropriate activity" from happening in the future.

Earlier reports said Russian operatives bought ads across several of Google's services without the company's knowledge, in the latest evidence that their campaign to influence U.S. voters was wide-reaching and sophisticated, deploying the technology industry's most powerful tools.

Motherboard points out that Facebook also purchased full-page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post to win back its users.

Twitter and Facebook already had disclosed some Russian accounts, and USA investigators say other companies likely were exploited as well.

Investigators have previously concluded Russian companies with ties to the Kremlin bought at least $US100,000 ($128,912) in ads on Facebook, potentially reaching 10 million Americans.

Anyways, a Microsoft representative spoke to reuters about the potential of its platform being targeted by Russian backed disruptors.

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The revelations add to the evidence that the Russian disinformation campaign had not only multiple targets among USA technology companies but also multiple centres of operations.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hear from representatives of Facebook, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Twitter Inc. on November 1 in a public session that will look at how Russian actors used the platforms during the election. "The extent of the Russian presence just continues to grow and grow, and I don't think we yet have any kind of full understanding of just how expansive this presence may have been".

The source, who was not authorized to elaborate more on the matter, however, added that this may indicate a wider Russian online disinformation effort. The goal was to influence voting behaviour, in some cases by suppressing turnout.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, are scheduled to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees for back-to-back public hearings November 1 on Russian efforts to use social media platforms to influence the 2016 United States elections.

The reason that its disconcerting is around this time a year ago in 2016 Microsoft were actually informed by Google that a hacking group linked to the Russian government and USA political hacks were exploiting a Windows 10 security flaw. Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, did not deny the story, and in a statement pointed to its existing ad policies that limit political ad targeting and prohibit targeting based on race or religion.

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