Google Finds Russia-backed Ads Aired On Its Platforms

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The Washington Post reports that Google found the Russian links to ads on its platforms by using data from Twitter accounts. Google's review had been more robust than ones undertaken so far by Facebook or Twitter, the source said.

The Kremlin-affiliated entity that bought ads on Facebook does not appear to be the backer of the ads on Google.

Microsoft is also looking at whether Russians bought USA election ads on its Bing search engine or other Microsoft-owned products and platforms and it might be Putin's advertising campaign might be greater than many first thought.

Although some tech companies like Oath were not as open with their internal investigations, it's great to see Microsoft following the likeness of Google, Facebook, and Twitter to see if Russian based operatives purchased ads and conducted "inappropriate activity" on Microsoft platforms and products in order to impact the 2016 US election. Russia's ad purchases on Google were first reported by the Washington Post.

Facebook identified 150 ads bought by Russian-linked accounts on #Instagram to interfere in the previous year presidential election, Fox News reported.

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"We have a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion", said a spokesperson. 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". Some congressional leaders are reportedly planning to introduce legislation that requires internet companies to disclose more information about purchases of political ad on their platforms. They posed as Black Lives Matter sympathisers who were critical of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Investigators have previously concluded Russian companies with ties to the Kremlin bought at least $US100,000 ($128,912) in ads on Facebook, potentially reaching 10 million Americans.

Joining Facebook and Twitter, Google has now been sucked into an investigation into how Russian Federation influenced the United States presidential elections previous year.

You can bet Facebook and Twitter will have to field these types of questions once more when they face the House and Senate Intelligence Committees next month.

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