Google uncovers Russia-paid ads to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Google is cooperating with a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and has for the first time uncovered evidence that Russian operatives used the Internet giant's platforms in an effort interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election .Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Google is cooperating with a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and has for the first time uncovered evidence that Russian operatives used the Internet giant’s platforms in an effort to  interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election .Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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 to  interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“Russian agents” spent tens of thousands of dollars on advertisements on YouTube, Gmail, Google search, and other products in an attempt to spread disinformation, the newspaper reported on October 9, citing anonymous sources it said were familiar with the company’s investigation.

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. Both Facebook and the other social-media giant, Twitter, have said that Russian entities bought ads and had accounts on their platforms.

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., runs the world’s largest online advertising business and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site. The company did not immediately comment on The Washington Post’s story.

Google launched a probe into the matter as U.S. lawmakers pressed tech giants to look into how Russian operatives used social media, according to the newspaper.

The U.S. Congress has opened multiple investigations to determine the level of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Google representatives are due to testify publicly before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 1, along with Facebook and Twitter, about alleged Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election.

Facebook has said it recently shared some 3,000 Russian-bought ads with congressional investigators that were purchased by operatives associated with Internet Research, which media reports have described as a “troll farm” with links to the Russian state.

RFERL

  • Hind Abyad

    RFERL? Why an old anti Communist paper..
    From archives- This station daily pierces the iron curtain with truth, answering the
    lies of the Kremlin,” a forty-year old Ronald Reagan confidently proclaimed in a 1951 television Crusade for Freedom promotional video calling for public donations to Radio Free Europe.[8] Created during Reagan’s time as president of the Screen Actors’ Guild and FBI informant of the Hollywood Blacklist era”

    “Like many a good spy tale, the story of how the U.S. learned its democracy could be hacked started with loose lips. In May 2016, a Russian military intelligence officer bragged to a colleague that his organization, known as the GRU, was getting ready to pay Clinton back for what President Vladimir Putin believed was an influence operation she had run against him five years earlier as Secretary of State. The GRU, he said, was going to cause chaos in the upcoming U.S. election.”