Google Finds Ads Bought By Russians on Its Platforms

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Until now, most of the post-election scrutiny - and controversy - has centred on the role of Facebook in the election campaign which, of course, delivered a surprise result: a Donald Trump presidency.

Google did not immediately respond to request for comment. According to the report, Google and Twitter have not been cooperating with each other in their investigations.

Nevertheless, Google launched an investigation into the matter, as Congress pressed technology companies to determine how Russian operatives used social media, online advertising, and other digital tools to influence the 2016 presidential contest and foment discord in United States society. The company is looking at a set of ads that cost less than $100,000 in total, according to the report. Since Google is the world's largest online advertising business and YouTube is the world's largest online video site, there were always good chances that Russian operatives exploited the platforms to forward their propaganda.

Most of the Facebook accounts were trolls tied to the Internet Research Agency, "troll farm" connected to the Russian government, but whether Google's buyers were the same is also unclear.

Some of those ads, which cost approximately $100,000, touted GOP nominee Donald Trump, Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders, while others appeared to be aimed at trying to divide the USA through promoting sentiment that was anti-immigrant as well as racial animosity.

Interestingly, Google discovered the Russian Federation ad buys by using Twitter. Earlier this month, the company handed the copies of the 3,000 ads and other data to the concerned USA authorities.

Global social media platform Facebook, meanwhile, has also recently said that it had to shut down thousands of fake accounts in the run up to the German election last month.

Other tech firms, however, are still to come up with their findings.

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.

For Facebook and now Google, the ongoing controversy and multiple investigations by lawmakers into the problem further undermines their standing at a time when there are growing questions by advertisers around a lack of transparency in the digital media supply chain. Twitter and Google, the Post reports, "have not cooperated" in their investigations.

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