Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Google Uncovers Russia-Paid Ads On YouTube, Gmail

File Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok Russia 2012 File Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok Russia 2012 Mikhail Metzel AP
Javier Burns | 10 October, 2017, 00:31

Congressional investigators have been given about 3,000 Facebook ads that were bought by operatives associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-government affiliated troll farm, the company has said.

Even so, sources indicate Google's investigation is still ongoing, and while they have determined less than $100,000 was spent on ads during the election, they can not yet determine if the purchasers were legitimate Russian accounts or associated trolls. "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.

The Washington Post explained today (9 October) that Google's discovery is especially significant, given that the ads on its platforms don't seem to be from the same group that targeted users on Facebook. Initially, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly denied the platform had any role in spreading false information.

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

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a disinformation campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidential election.

Google did not comment for the Washington Post story. Both Twitter Inc and Facebook have said that Russian Federation bought ads and had accounts on their platforms.

The ability to disturb Pixel 2 during driving
Considering Google's new direction, we are expecting to see more exclusive services and features for the Google hardware. However, it has been confirmed now as it is written clearly in the footnotes of the Pixel 2 listing on Google store.

Google operates the largest online business of advertising in the world, and YouTube is the largest video site online in the world.

San Francisco: Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail, Google search and other products.

The total ad spend by "Russian agents" identified was reportedly less than $100,000, and it's unclear whether some came from "legitimate Russian accounts".

Though the videos were only viewed hundreds of times, they demonstrated for the first time that Russian Federation allegedly deployed real people, not just fake online accounts or bots, to further spread propaganda.

The company had previously said it had found no evidence of this kind of activity.

On November 1, Facebook, Twitter, and Google will testify in a public hearing about Russian activity on social media and political advertising.

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