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undergroundnewsroom.com December 15, 2017


Google's Apps Served Election-Meddling Ads In 2016

10 October 2017, 12:31 | Jenny Fowler

Google discovered Russian-bought ads on YouTube and Gmail

Google uncovered Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail, reports Washington Post

After analyzing data, Google has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited its platforms to interfere in the 2016 election, reports one media outlet.

On Monday, Oxford University researchers said they have found that fake Twitter and Facebook accounts linked to Russians were used to target USA active military personnel as well as veterans "mixing disinformation alongside other content already being read and shared widely among these communities".

The company is investigating that matter and trying to map the relationship between Russian accounts and well-known media personalities as well as influencers associated with the campaigns of Donald Trump and other candidates, said a person familiar with Twitter's internal investigation.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Google plans to have a more thorough investigation than Facebook or Twitter.

The Post also noted that Google had previously downplayed Russian meddling on its platforms, citing a Google spokeswoman who told the Post last month that the company 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".

And, a significant discovery has been that the source of the funding for the ads, appears to be different from those identified by Facebook.

Significantly, these adverts don't appear to come from the same sources as the Russian-linked ad campaign on Facebook.

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The US is carrying out a wide-ranging investigation into whether Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

Google had previously played down suggestions of Russian Federation using its platforms to influence the democratic process overseas. There, approximately 470 accounts tied to known Russian trolls purchased 3,000 ads, totaling about $100,000.

The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, has said he thinks Russian-linked accounts' purchase of $100,000 worth of Facebook ads is only "the tip of the iceberg".

In Google declined to comment on this information. What's more, they also placed ads in Google's DoubleClick Ad network, which many Google-affiliated and third-party websites and applications make use of to generate revenue.

The 2016 presidential election marked the first time that Google allowed targeting by political leanings and it allowed two categories - left-leaning and right-leaning.

Google has avoided the intense scrutiny Facebook has been subjected to over the response to alleged Russian electoral interference, however this could change as the investigation continues. The tech giants are scheduled for a double-header on November 1: They have been asked to testify before both the Senate and House intelligence committees.

"If Vladimir Putin is using Facebook or Google or Twitter to, in effect, destroy our democracy, the American people should know about it", Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said Monday on MSNBC.



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