Google has recently revealed reports about Kremlin-linked groups spending around $4,700 on advertising platforms, during the 2016 U.S. elections. These ads were although not targeted to any specific group of users or no evidence of targeting by geography were found.
It was also revealed by Google, that its YouTube, which strictly prohibit things like hate speech, violent or graphic content; found 18 channels closely associated with this campaign that made videos, which were in English-language, public, with the political content in them.
There were 1,108 such videos uploaded, representing- 43 hours of content and totaling 309,000 U.S. views from June 2015 to November 2016.
The report also said that these “videos were not targeted to the U.S.” and that the channels with suspicious content were “suspended”.
The two accounts that spent $4,700 were found to be associated with “Internet Research Agency”. U.S. Intelligence describes them as “professional trolls” with close ties to Russian intelligence. Although the ads were not “narrowly targeted” to any geographic region like U.S. or any community.
This development comes alongside the announcements done by Facebook and Twitter where the former revealed that the Russia-based operatives published about 80,000 posts on the social network over a two-year period in an effort to sway U.S. politics and that about 126 million Americans may have seen the posts during that time. The latter revealed that it had found more than 2,700 Russian-linked accounts.
Google also said that they are working on launching “several new initiatives to provide more transparency and enhance security.”
(This development was first reported by The Verge)