Washington Post Says Google Finds 'Russia-Paid Ads', Tech Giant Doesn't Confirm

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Google began the investigation after Congress asked tech companies to help determine how Russian agents used social media to influence the election. It's not yet known whether all the ads were bought by trolls or "legitimate Russian accounts", according to the Post.

Google is investigating claims that shadowy Russian agents paid tens of thousands of dollars to advertise on its platforms in a bid to influence the USA election. From these Twitter accounts, Google found links to ad purchases using its services.

Facebook shared some of the data from its probe with Twitter and Google, sources previously told Recode.

The Washington Post explained today (9 October) that Google's discovery is especially significant, given that the ads on its platforms don't seem to be from the same group that targeted users on Facebook.

While Facebook, the company trailing Google in the online advertising race, has received scorn for its role in sharing disinformation leading up to last year's election, Google has largely been unscathed. It previously told the Post that it 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". According to the estimates, $ 100,000 invested would have enabled Russian Federation to buy ads Facebook views by 23 million Americans, primarily in States crucial such as MI and Wisconsin, won with 10,000 and 20,000 votes ahead by Donald Trump. Google will also meet privately with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees prior to next month's public hearing, a source at the company confirmed. According to the company, these profiles bought about 3,000 ads ahead of Election Day.

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

Executives from Twitter and Facebook have said they will testify before Congress on November 1 regarding Russia's attempts to sow dissent on the social media platforms.

The company's investigation has apparently determined these ad purchases were made during the 2016 presidential election. Two weeks ago, Twitter also announced that it had also banned about 200 Russia-linked accounts.

Schrage, Facebook vice president for policy and communications, said in the blog post that the ads included "political messages across the ideological spectrum".