Technology

Google uncovers Russian-bought Trump ads

Google uncovers Russian-bought Trump ads

This week, Google reported for the first time that Russian operatives may have exploited its various media platforms as part of an elaborate plan to hack into, manage and influence the US elections.

"The discovery by Google is also significant because the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook", the Post report said.

Google has uncovered evidence of a large-scale Russian operation to exploit its platforms as part of attempted interference with the 2016 U.S. election. Using that data, Twitter found roughly 200 accounts linked to the IRA. Russia, which has bought sponsored content on Facebook and Twitter during the u.s. election, has also done the same on Google, tells the Washington Post this Monday. The Washington Post reported Monday that Google products also saw Russian campaign ads make buys a year ago during the presidential campaign.

Facebook says it believes the ads concerned reached around 10 million people, while others have suggested that this grossly under-reports the total number of views.

The amount of money spent on Google ads matches the sum reportedly spent by Russian operatives on Facebook in the lead-up to the election.

While the Russian-linked accounts did not target ads based on political affiliation, it raises the question of why Google allowed such targeting for the 2016 election when it hadn't done so in the past.

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The company declined to comment to the Washington Post in October.

The sources added that the company ascertain whether this ad bought a "Troll" or some of them were paid from ordinary Russian accounts. The only thing that is surprising, he said, is that it took so long for Google to find the activity. The report states that the Russians created ads that were designed to help Trump on YouTube, Gmail and other advertising platforms.

Now it appears the operatives used Google's various ad platforms to do the same.

The 2016 presidential election marked the first time that Google allowed targeting by political leanings and it allowed two categories - left-leaning and right-leaning. Critics are angry that Facebook won't reveal the Russian ads to the public, and many diverse voices are calling for tighter government regulations over the company.

Facebook, Twitter and now Google.

Google officials are expected to testify in front of Congress on November 1 on the issue, along with representatives from Facebook and Twitter.