Google concedes it helped spread Russian propaganda

Google has for the first time uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited its various platforms in an attempt to interfere in last year's United States presidential election. The sources also note that the search giant is still wading through data to figure out if the source of the ads we merely trolls or legitimate accounts from within Russian Federation.

Accounts connected with the Russian government spent $4,700 on search and display ads, while another $53,000 was spent on ads with political material that were purchased from Russian territory, from Russian internet addresses, or with Russian currency, The New York Times reported.

Google officials are expected to testify publicly before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on 1 November alongside Facebook and Twitter about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election. Facebook said they are still conducting the enquiry and are looking at thousands of more ads that seems to bear the same overtures of a possible Russian Federation link.

Google, which runs the world's largest online advertising business, had largely evaded public or congressional scrutiny until now.

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As the only company that sells more digital advertising than Facebook, Google was also being closely watched in the context of the investigation.

Sources from within Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, told the Washington Post and Reuters news agency that it was investigating attempts by Kremlin affiliates to abuse its systems and spread disinformation.

Federal, congressional and private investigators are all looking into the extent of Russian efforts to influence USA media prior to the elections; a common thread is that Russians with alleged Kremlin ties sought to spread misinformation and confusion with the goal of promoting division and President Donald Trump's candidacy. The rap videos were put together by two black video bloggers, calling themselves Williams and Kalvin Johnson, whose social media pages investigators say are part of the broad Russian campaign to influence American politics.

Google has said it found evidence that Russian operatives exploited its platforms to spread disinformation. But, after checking the data provided by Twitter, Google concluded the latest report on Russian meddling. But Silicon Valley companies have received little assistance from the intelligence community, people familiar with the companies' probes said. It is believed these formed part of a sophisticated disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Kremlin targeting U.S. swing states crucial to Donald Trump's victory.

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