Google has discovered Russians spent thousands of dollars on advertisements on YouTube, Gmail and other Google advertising to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new report by Reuters.
On Monday, Reuters revealed that Russian operatives purchased advertisements to influence the 2016 Presidential election. In the report, the Russian affiliated group that bought ads on Facebook, Inc. were different than the team that purchased ads on Google.
Reuters’ source told the news agency that less than $100,000 in advertisement spending was linked to Russian operatives.
This will most likely add fuel to the fire surrounding the role Silicon Valley tech giants may have had on the U.S. presidential election. U.S. intelligence agencies have previously concluded Moscow wanted to help elect Donald Trump and both Twitter and Facebook have found Russian operatives used their platform to buy ads and post content to influence the election.
A content farm called the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, Russia used these social networking platforms as a way to influence Americans during the Presidential election. According to Reuters, the Internet Research Agency hired hundreds of “trolls” to post pro-Kremlin content under fake social media accounts that posed to be American or European.
Facebook revealed last month that the company had found $100,000 in spending by the agency and has since pledged to become more transparent about their ad transactions.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Google plans to have a more thorough investigation than Facebook or Twitter. In a statement to Reuters, a Google spokeswoman explained, “We are taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries.”
Congressional committees have launched several investigations into the Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections.