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Google Finds Ads Bought By Russians on Its Platforms

European action has become increasingly aggressive against US technology giants Amazon Facebook and Apple as well as GoogleLEON NEAL

As Google is continuing a probe into alleged Russian attempts to influence the results of the U.S. presidential election by buying digital ads, some mainstream media outlets have already been quick to claim alleged discoveries on the issue.

According to the report, the ads did not appear to be purchased by the same Kremlin trolls who overwhelmed Facebook with propaganda and fake news - suggesting that the Russian cyber attacks might be even more extensive than previously reported. The company did not immediately comment on The Washington Post's story.

The Washington Post noted that until now, Google has "mostly avoided the scrutiny" that's focused on Facebook, which recently provided Congressional investigators with about 3,000 Russian-bought ads.

Google has uncovered less than $100,000 in ad spending potentially linked to Russian actors, the source said. Or as spokesperson Andrea Faville previously said, they are "always monitoring for abuse or violations of our policies and we've seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms". Facebook's ads were turned over to the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has reportedly found evidence of Russian operatives using its ad platforms to influence last year's presidential election. According to the social network, the ads were bought by operatives linked with the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm affiliated with the Russian government.

Facebook, Twitter and now Google. As a result, Twitter identified about 200 related, Russia-tied accounts on its platform, though none of them had been registered as advertisers. When Facebook revealed the extent of its problem, it talked about $100,000 in ad buys from almost 500 affiliated accounts "likely operated out of Russia".

About $150,000 worth of fake Facebook ads, capable of reaching more than 10 million users, touched on hot-button issues like race, immigration and gun control.

However, the company launched an investigation after Congress urged the technology giant to determine whether the Russians used its various platforms in order to meddle in the election.

Facebook turned those ads over to Congress and the special counsel's office, which are both investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of last year's election, and has agreed to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 1.