Russian political ads also ran on Instagram, YouTube, Gmail

Alyssa Bailey
October 10, 2017

Congressional investigators have been given about 3,000 Facebook ads that were bought by operatives associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-government affiliated troll farm, the company has said. "We are taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries". Google did this by downloading historical data that Twitter makes available to developers, according to the Post's sources. Notably, the Post reports that the company responsible for buying the Facebook ads was not the same entity that purchased the Google ads.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has reportedly found evidence of Russian operatives using its ad platforms to influence last year's presidential election.

The roughly $4,700 in Russian-bought Google ads is only an initial estimate, and for the moment, it's much less than the Kremlin's apparent disinformation campaign on Facebook.

Congressional committees have launched several investigations into the Russian interference in the USA presidential elections. There were also posts created to stoke cultural tensions in the country, such as anti-immigrant material, according to the Washington Post.

Now it appears the operatives used Google's various ad platforms to do the same. The only thing that is surprising, he said, is that it took so long for Google to find the activity.

But Google's investigation hasn't found the same type of targeted advertising that Russian agents conducted on Facebook.

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But after launching a review, the company found around $100,000 (£76,000) in ad spending potentially linked to Russian sources, according to a source. Google has yet to confirm whether it will also give evidence at the hearing.

Facebook, which identified 470 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, has shared its findings with both Twitter and Google, sources at all three companies said.

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.

Facebook, Twitter and now Google.

Google officials have been invited to testify publicly about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 1 alongside Facebook and Twitter.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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