Google finds Russian-financed content

Google finds Russian-financed content

Google finds Russian-financed content

Google began the investigation after Congress asked tech companies to help determine how Russian agents used social media to influence the election.

The Internet Research Agency employ hundreds of so-called "trolls" who post pro-Kremlin content, much of it fake or discredited, under the guise of phony social media accounts that posed as American or European, according to lawmakers and researchers.

Facebook shared some of the data from its probe with Twitter and Google, sources previously told Recode. According to the estimates, $ 100,000 invested would have enabled Russian Federation to buy ads Facebook views by 23 million Americans, primarily in States crucial such as MI and Wisconsin, won with 10,000 and 20,000 votes ahead by Donald Trump.

The firm has handed over around 3,000 ads to investigators working for the US Congress.

As of now, there have been no comments from Google or Alphabet on the development. Since Google is the world's largest online advertising business and YouTube is the world's largest online video site, there were always good chances that Russian operatives exploited the platforms to forward their propaganda. Most of the Facebook accounts were trolls tied to the Internet Research Agency, "troll farm" connected to the Russian government, but whether Google's buyers were the same is also unclear. What's more, they also placed ads in Google's DoubleClick Ad network, which many Google-affiliated and third-party websites and applications make use of to generate revenue. The company said it found 450 accounts and about $100,000 was spent on the ads.

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.

Google said this is the first time it has uncovered evidence of its platform being abused for political influence.

Google has avoided the intense scrutiny Facebook has been subjected to over the response to alleged Russian electoral interference, however this could change as the investigation continues. But Google has declined to say if it plans to testify publicly before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which are leading the investigation and intend to hold two hearings on November 1. Those accounts bought advertising to promote those messages and reach a bigger audience within the Facebook universe, while promoting the incendiary posts to different locations or people with established political leanings for maximum impact.

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