Google has discovered that Russian operatives spent about $100,000 on ads on YouTube, Gmail, and Google search. Fred Katayama reports.
Google says Russian operatives spent about $100,000 on ads on YouTube, Gmail, and other Google products. Reuters cybersecurity reporter Dustin Volz is covering the story. (SOUNDBITE) DUSTIN VOLZ, CYBERSECURITY REPORTER, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What we're hearing about the efforts to buy these ads on Google is consistent with what Facebook and Twitter have disclosed over the past month about efforts on their platforms as well, and that is to, in some cases, influence the elections, but, broadly, to sow discord by spreading politically divisive messages, and, overall, to help president Donald Trump and harm his opponents." Volz says the ads on Google most likely didn't come from the same source as the ads on Facebook or Twitter. And that could mean a broader Russian effort to influence the election. Ad agency DPAA Chief Executive Officer Barry Frey says buying online ads is a self-serve service without any scrutiny. (SOUNDBITE) BARRY FREY, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE, DPAA (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There are algorithms that are there to spot types of advertising that are not correct, but, historically, these types of advertising that the machines have been built to look out for have been, you know, it could be porn products, or smoking products or something that would be detrimental to kids advertising, and really haven't been set up to understand these kind of nuance messages that have been coming out in this form." Google has a pending invitation to testify in Congress on November 1st. But it hasn't accepted the invite yet. Facebook and Twitter already have.