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The Internet behemoth found that thousands of dollars had been spent on advertisements by agents from Russian Federation whose goal was to spread disinformation across the many products of Google, including YouTube, and advertising that is associated with Gmail, Google search and the DoubleClick ad network of the company, said the same people. 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.

Google refused to provide additional comments but experts believe that based on the provided information so far, the company believes Russians spent about $100,000 on its platforms during the election campaign. The internal probe, reports the Post, is still in "early stages", and Google is looking at its records and sharing its data with Facebook. They include YouTube, Gmail, Google Search and others.

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 found roughly 3,000 ads adverts linked to Russian Federation - but it has refused to publicly release them despite calls from congressional investigators. 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".

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

But after launching a review, the company found around $100,000 (£76,000) in ad spending potentially linked to Russian sources, according to a source. Facebook's Elliot Schrage said the ads appeared to focus on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights.

The alleged investigation goes against Google's previous attempts to play down the scale of Russian interference on its systems.

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. Twitter has not said how many times the Russian disinformation was shared.

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.

The content of the ads that flowed through Google was not clear.


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