Google Reportedly Finds Russian-Bought Ads On Search, YouTube, DoubleClick

Randall Craig
October 10, 2017

The Washington Post is reporting that Google has for the first time uncovered evidence that Russian operatives used the Internet giant's platforms in an effort interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election.

This will most likely add fuel to the fire surrounding the role Silicon Valley tech giants may have had on the US presidential election. USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow's goal was to help elect Donald Trump.

Andrea Faville, a spokesperson for Google previously said no evidence of malicious ad campaigns had been found.

The Internet Research Agency employ hundreds of so-called "trolls" who post pro-Kremlin content, much of it fake or discredited, under the guise of phony social media accounts that posed as American or European, according to lawmakers and researchers. No one from the company has spoken publicly on the matter yet, and just last month Google sent out a statement denying just this.

Parscale told correspondent Lesley Stahl that his primary job was to send hundreds of thousands of "carefully-tailored, low-priced digital ads" to millions of people on Google search, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. 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. Similar pages had been taken down by Facebook and Twitter, according to a report Monday by The Daily Beast.

Facebook ads were found to promote candidates campaigning against Hillary Clinton, as well as inciting hatred.

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.

That includes efforts on Capitol Hill to study Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook reportedly unearthed $100,000 (£76,000) in spending from a single Russian group, the Internet Research Agency.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said Russian Federation meant to sow discord in the United States, spread propaganda and sway the election. Critics are angry that Facebook won't reveal the Russian ads to the public, and many diverse voices are calling for tighter government regulations over the company.

All three firms are expected to appear on November 1 in an open Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the rising evidence that they were covertly manipulated in a campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Google is, however, assisting Facebook with their investigation and vice a versa.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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