Google uncovered Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail, reports Washington Post

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Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter. US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow's goal was to help elect Donald Trump. The only thing that is surprising, he said, is that it took so long for Google to find the activity.

The ads appear not to be from the same Russian trolls from the Internet Research Agency that advertised on Facebook. Those familiar with this investigations said the company was looking at a group of ads with a cost of under $100,000 and that it continued to sort out if all those ads were from trolls or if some originated from legitimate accounts in Russian Federation.

And, a significant discovery has been that the source of the funding for the ads, appears to be different from those identified by Facebook.

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. 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".

Google operates the largest online business of advertising in the world, and YouTube is the largest video site online in the world.

The 2016 presidential election marked the first time that Google allowed targeting by political leanings and it allowed two categories - left-leaning and right-leaning.

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The U.S. Congress has opened multiple investigations to determine the level of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said Russian Federation meant to sow discord in the United States, spread propaganda and sway the election.

The disclosures have brought heightened scrutiny around the company's ad practices, and Facebook has already announced changes.

Twitter, meanwhile, has been shown to be a dense thicket of easily faked accounts and news items that allowed alleged Russian operatives to pump out politically divisive and anti-Clinton tweets.

Google officials are expected to testify in front of Congress on November 1 on the issue, along with representatives from Facebook and Twitter.