March 22, 2018

Google uncovers ads by Russian operatives

11 October 2017, 03:09 | Brandon Parsons

The logo of social media and networking site Facebook is reflected in an eye

The logo of social media and networking site Facebook is reflected in an eye

During Google's debate last month, the company reportedly "plied Washington policy experts with questions about the pros and cons of its size", as "Google confronts European antitrust claims and proposed USA legislation that would increase online publishers' liability for content produced by others".

On Monday, Microsoft told Reuters that the company is looking to see if Russians purchased ads on Microsoft owned products and platforms in order to influence the results of 2016 us election.

The move is somewhat embarrassing for the Silicon Valley technology giants who generally opposed Trump but might have been key players in helping the Russians get him elected.

Google discovered ads worth of $53,000 with political materials bought from Russian internet IP, addresses, or currency.

The ads appeared in search results of Google or on websites excluding its own network of sites.

There are a number of Congressional investigations into the alleged Russian interference.

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USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a disinformation campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidential election. Google's review had been more robust than ones undertaken so far by Facebook or Twitter, the source said.

"We have a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion". A Google spokeswoman commented, "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". On Sunday, the Daily Beast news website reported that the Kremlin recruited at least two black video bloggers to post clips on YouTube during the campaign.

"We take reports of misuse of our platform seriously..." Some posed as Black Lives Matter sympathizers critical of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Twitter, another social media giant, has also linked roughly 200 accounts to the IRA and sold $US274,100 ($353,349) to RT, a Russian state broadcaster which potentially promoted over 1800 ads to Americans.

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

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