Google discovers Russian ads on its platforms during 2016 US election: Report

San Francisco: After Facebook and Twitter admitting the presence of Russian operatives on their platforms to influence the 2016 US presidential election, Google has reportedly discovered that millions were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s platforms, including YouTube.

According to a report in The Washington Post on Monday, “the ads by Russian agents aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s many products, which include YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail, and the company’s DoubleClick ad network”.

Google was yet to comment on this, the report added.

The advertisements, said the report, do not appear to be from the same troll groups that bought ads on Facebook and could be part of a much broader effort to meddle with the US election.

Facebook and Twitter will appear before the US Congress to testify to Russian interference during the 2016 US election while Google was yet to confirm its appearance.

The three companies have been asked to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on November 1.

An estimated 10 million people in the US saw the Russian ads that were present on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election, the social media giant has revealed, while handing over nearly 3,000 Russian political ads worth $100,000 to the US Congress.

Twitter has also announced that it deleted over 200 fake Russian accounts and identified Russia Today of buying ads targeted at American users’ accounts.

“Google is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters ahead of the US election,” media reports said.