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Russians said to have bought $100000 of election ads on Google

10 October 2017

People familiar with the ads told the outlet that the ads do not appear to originate from the Internet Research Agency, the Russian "troll farm" that Facebook said had purchased $100,000 of political ads on its platform through fake accounts.

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

Google for the first time revealed Monday that Russian Federation purchased ads in order to influence the 2016 United States presidential election for then-Republican candidate Donald Trump's benefit, according to the Washington Post.

Although Google has made no official statement since its earlier denial, The Washington Post reports company sources describing new evidence.

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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 roughly $4,700 in Russian-bought Google ads is only an initial estimate, and for the moment, it's much less than the Kremlin's apparent disinformation campaign on Facebook.

The US is carrying out a wide-ranging investigation into whether Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

Google is the only company that sells more digital advertising than Facebook, and its role in the coordinated Russian campaign has been a source of intense speculation in Washington and Silicon Valley. Ads were apparently discovered on YouTube as well as search, Gmail and the DoubleClick ad network run by Google.

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Google earlier denied that Russian Federation used its platform to influence the presidential elections with spokeswoman Andrea Faville saying Google is "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". In September, the social network said it found $100,000 worth of spending on divisive political ads on its platform by hundreds of Russian-linked fake accounts and pages during a period that included the 2016 presidential election.

This is the first time Google has been reported to admit to evidence of this activity.

The disclosures have brought heightened scrutiny around the company's ad practices, and Facebook has already announced changes.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google parent company Alphabet have been invited to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee on November 1.

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Russians said to have bought $100000 of election ads on Google