Google's Apps Served Election-Meddling Ads In 2016

10 October, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Boyd Miller
  • European action has become increasingly aggressive against US technology giants Amazon Facebook and Apple as well as GoogleLEON NEAL

The investigation indicates that the ads may not be connected to the "troll farm" affiliated with the Kremlin that purchased ads on Facebook, a significant discovery indicating that "the Russian effort to spread disinformation online may be a much broader problem than Silicon Valley companies have unearthed so far", according to the Post.

Russian operatives bought Google ads and exploited the company's many platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election, according to a new report out of Washington. Both Facebook and the other social-media giant, Twitter, have said that Russian entities bought ads and had accounts on their platforms. In a statement to Reuters, a Google spokeswoman explained, "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".

Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail and Google Search, an internal Google investigation has uncovered. According to the company, these profiles bought about 3,000 ads ahead of Election Day.

The amount of money spent on Google ads matches the sum reportedly spent by Russian operatives on Facebook in the lead-up to the election.

Evidence is emerging that Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections may be more elaborate than is now known and being reported.

And on Sunday, The Daily Beast reported that Russia recruited YouTubers to "bash" Hillary Clinton, highlighting a pro-Donald Trump YouTube channel that it says was backed by the Russian government and was previously banned from Facebook and YouTube.

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Google is the world's largest online advertisement platform.

Sputnik has also reached out to Google for a comment, but, as of this writing, the company has not replied. When Facebook revealed the extent of its problem, it talked about $100,000 in ad buys from almost 500 affiliated accounts "likely operated out of Russia".

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.

Facebook has announced changes to the way adverts are signed off, including "additional human review and approval" for some targeted ads.

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.

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