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Russian operatives bought Google ads and exploited the company's many platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election, according to a new report out of Washington.

According to the report, the ads did not appear to be purchased by the same Kremlin trolls who overwhelmed Facebook with propaganda and fake news - suggesting that the Russian cyber attacks might be even more extensive than previously reported.

For just the first time Google has uncovered evidence that operatives from Russian Federation exploited the platforms of the Internet giant in an attempt to interfere with the US election in 2016, according to those familiar with the investigation the company carried out.

Although Google has made no official statement since its earlier denial, The Washington Post reports company sources describing new evidence.

Google has discovered that Russian operatives spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on advertising associated with its products and services, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. Facebook's Elliot Schrage said the ads appeared to focus on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights. Facebook has received the most attention for the Russian-backed ads, and has promised to give the government 3,000 of them for study, now taking the threat to its platform and Democracy itself that they represent much more seriously.

It has turned the ads over to congressional panels investigating Russian involvement in the election.

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According to The Post, the Google ads tried to "spread disinformation" and were a multipronged approach.

The alleged investigation goes against Google's previous attempts to play down the scale of Russian interference on its systems.

Twitter and Facebook have said Russian Federation bought ads and had accounts on their platforms.

A Google spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Google found an advertisement, purchased by Russia, YouTube, Gmail and other platforms.

Though the videos were only viewed hundreds of times, they demonstrated for the first time that Russian Federation allegedly deployed real people, not just fake online accounts or bots, to further spread propaganda. Some Democrats plan to introduce legislation to require internet companies to disclose more information about political ad purchases on their platforms. The tech giants are scheduled for a double-header on November 1: They have been asked to testify before both the Senate and House intelligence committees. As a result, Twitter identified about 200 related, Russia-tied accounts on its platform, though none of them had been registered as advertisers.


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