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A Russian-linked operation different from the Kremlin-linked troll farms that spent bank on Facebook ads, dropped tens of thousands of dollars placing ads on YouTube, GMail, and other Google platforms. Their goal? Presumably to interfere in the 2016 election.
Google remains tight-lipped about the details of their initial findings, but has said they used data from Twitter (without Twitter’s express consent) to investigate the ad buys. As of yet, Google is unsure (at least publicly) whether the ads were purchased by legitimate Russian accounts or troll accounts.
From the WaPo:
The Silicon Valley giant has found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who 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, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that have not been made public. Google runs the world’s largest online advertising business, and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site.
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