Russian Federation used Google ads to advertise during U.S. election

File Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok Russia 2012

The news about Google comes amid a flurry of reports about how Facebook is dealing with bearing the brunt of the blame for "fake news" affecting the election.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the ads found by Google do not appear to be from the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency that had purchased ads on Facebook.

Google, Facebook and Twitter have all agreed to testify at public hearings before the Senate and House intelligence committees on November 1, company sources {link:told CNN: Monday "http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/09/media/google-russia-ads/index.html?adkey=bn" target="_blank"}.

Following Google, Twitter and Facebook, Microsoft has now announced that they are investigating whether Russians bought pre-election ads on their Bing search or other ad platforms in the US. Lawmakers had been homing in on Google services including YouTube and Gmail, Bloomberg reported last week.

Separately, the Daily Beast reported that Russian Federation recruited fervent supporters of President Donald Trump to make YouTube videos that bashed his campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

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.

Facebook, Twitter and now Google.

Google also has two different sets of policies for dealing with who can create accounts and who can buy advertising, making it harder for the company to police accounts that simply created YouTube pages without paying money to advertise or have those pages promoted.

Google, which previously said it didn't find evidence of Russian-linked activity on its site, came to its latest conclusions after looking at data from Twitter, the person familiar with the investigation said.

Now Facebook is telling advertisers that political and other types of ads will be reviewed by humans before they go live, according to Axios. Twitter itself has said it found Russian accounts by matching by the accounts Facebook had found.

The sprawling inquiry into the extent of Russian attempts to purchase ads on the USA internet before the 2016 federal elections has expanded to yet another digital giant, with Microsoft confirming that it has launched an internal investigation into whether it sold such advertisements via its Bing search engine.

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