Google uncovered Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail


Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who is leading the panel's Russian Federation investigation, said the committee will release about 3,000 ads provided to the panel by Facebook.

"I think we should seek to facilitate when the intelligence community identifies the Russians are using this platform in the same way that when the intelligence community finds that ISIS or Al Qaeda is using the platform for recruitment, there ought to be a dialogue through Federal Bureau of Investigation or DHS", he explained, per a transcript shared with Recode on Wednesday. "We are therefore investigating and if inappropriate activity is found, we will take steps to minimize such misuse in the future". This will be a long talked about topic, and as the investigation unfolds, there will no doubt be more to come. Facebook tied the ads to a St Petersburg outfit called the Internet Research Agency, a firm which Buzzfeed and Russian sources have described as at least partially a front employing pro-Kremlin comment trolls. Facebook and Twitter have also said they uncovered politically divisive content emanating from Russian Federation. This part of the review, according to Stamos, uncovered "approximately $50,000 in potentially politically related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads", he said.

Any discussion about whether Americans were involved with the Russian-linked Facebook effort was beyond the scope of Wednesday's meeting, Schiff said.

Facebook, Twitter and now Google. Some of those networks are based in the USA, the Washington Post reported, and can be highly lucrative.

"We have a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion".

Some Democrats plan to introduce legislation to require internet companies to disclose more information about political ad purchases on their platforms. But, a Columbia social media researcher, reported soon after that free Facebook content affiliated with just six of those 470 pages and accounts likely reached the news feeds of users hundreds of millions of times.

At times, the lack of hard evidence has driven wild conspiracy theories about Russian involvement in Trump's ascent to power. Google and Twitter reportedly did not collaborate on the effort, which is supposedly still in its early stages.

Google officials have been invited to testify publicly before both the House and Senate intelligence committees about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election. At the end of September, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) penned a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking that the company "ensure that discriminatory and tactically divisive ad-targeting is aggressively prevented".