Google uncovers Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail

A Russian entity bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and Google Search products in an effort to intrude in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Google for the first time has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited the company’s platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the company’s investigation.

Google’s review had been more robust than ones undertaken so far by Facebook or Twitter.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 — a sign that the Russian effort to spread disinformation online may be a much broader problem than Silicon Valley companies have unearthed so far.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow’s goal in buying the election ads was to help elect Donald Trump.

Google officials have been invited to testify publicly about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on Nov. 1 alongside Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook and Twitter have confirmed plans to attend, Google has not.


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