Google finds Russian-financed content: Washington Post

October 9, 2017
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks about artificial intelligence in San Franciso on October 4, 2017
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks about artificial intelligence in San Franciso on October 4, 2017

Google has found evidence its platforms were exploited by Russian operatives seeking to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Google, a unit of Alphabet, "found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation" across Google's products, the newspaper wrote, citing people familiar with the company's investigation.

Google's products include YouTube, Gmail, and the company's DoubleClick ad network.

The company told AFP that it has "a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion."

Google is "taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries," it said.

Google had previously said it was not used in the alleged Russian campaign to steer the November US presidential election won by Donald Trump.

The Kremlin has denied that it tried to manipulate the US electoral process.

Other social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, have already indicated that they discovered content financed by Russian interests.

All three firms are expected to appear on November 1 in an open Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the rising evidence that they were covertly manipulated in a campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

US justice officials are also probing the alleged Russian involvement, and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

Certain content on social media networks or search engines can be targeted to particular users according to their profile, location, or research history.

This can involve traditional advertising as well as sponsored publications or pages.

Facebook recently revealed that for just $100,000, apparent Russia-linked buyers placed about 3,000 advertisements on its pages last year that appeared aimed at influencing the election in which Trump defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Facebook has turned the details of those ads over to investigators.

Twitter, meanwhile, has been shown to be a dense thicket of easily faked accounts and news items that allowed alleged Russian operatives to pump out politically divisive and anti-Clinton tweets.

Explore further: Facebook 'context' button is latest effort to fight fake news

Related Stories

Facebook gives Russia-linked ads to Congress

October 2, 2017

Facebook announced Monday that it is planning more measures to increase transparency in advertising as the company provides Congress with more than 3,000 ads linked to a Russian ad agency.

House, Senate inviting social media giants to testify

September 28, 2017

The House and Senate intelligence committees are inviting tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet—the parent company of Google—to appear for public hearings as part of their investigations into Russia's interference ...

Recommended for you

Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level

December 13, 2018

Conventional lithium ion batteries, such as those widely used in smartphones and notebooks, have reached performance limits. Materials chemist Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna and international ...

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Oct 09, 2017
So what? Obama tried to interfere with Israel's election and few people made a big stink about it. It probably happens all the time. It's just part of this internet run world we live in.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.