Google's Apps Served Election-Meddling Ads In 2016

Marsha Scott
October 10, 2017

The report claims that the company's investigation uncovered that the ads were not bought by the same group that is associated with the Kremlin and purchased ads on Facebook, which could indicate that the Russian effort to meddle in the election was more comprehensive than previously estimated.

According to the Washington Post, Google has discovered evidence suggesting that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election by purchasing ads on its platforms.

The Washington Post reports that Google found the Russian links to ads on its platforms by using data from Twitter accounts. "We are deepening our investigation of diversion attempts of our systems, and work with researchers and other companies, and give our assistance to the ongoing investigations", said Google.

Facebook published a blog post on September 6, 2017, revealing that the company found about $100,000 in ad purchases between June 2015 and May 2017 - associated with roughly 3,000 ads connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and pages in violation of it policies. Notably, the Post reports that the company responsible for buying the Facebook ads was not the same entity that purchased the Google ads.

Google had previously said it hadn't found evidence of Russia-linked ads on its platforms. The tech giants are scheduled for a double-header on November 1: They have been asked to testify before both the Senate and House intelligence committees.

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"This was a broad search, including, for instance, ads bought from accounts with US IP addresses but with the language set to Russian - even though they didn't necessarily violate any policy or law". However, according to the Post, the search giant, who downplayed any such possibility on its platforms before, has now initiated an investigation into the matter.

Global social media platform Facebook, meanwhile, has also recently said that it had to shut down thousands of fake accounts in the run up to the German election last month.

While these ads were timed around the United States election, they rarely focused directly on that subject.

Congressional committees have launched several investigations into the Russian interference in the USA presidential elections. Facebook's Elliot Schrage said the ads appeared to focus on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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