Google told the Washington Post in September that it had "seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms".
Google's investigation pulled data from Twitter to cross-reference if Russian accounts paid for fake ads. Russia, which has bought sponsored content on Facebook and Twitter during the u.s. election, has also done the same on Google, tells the Washington Post this Monday. Twitter and Google, the Post reports, "have not cooperated" in their investigations. Facebook's Elliot Schrage said the ads appeared to focus on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights.
In late September, Zuckerberg used his Facebook Live feature to outline steps the company is taking to make its platform less vulnerable to political issues like selling ads to foreign operatives looking to influence US elections.
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Google did not comment on the report.
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O , did not deny the story, and in a statement pointed to its existing ad policies that limit political ad targeting and prohibit targeting based on race or religion.
Last month, Facebook disclosed that a company tied to the Russian government had purchased at least $100,000 in ads as part of a propaganda campaign, and later said the ads reached 10 million people. Both Twitter Inc and Facebook have said that Russian Federation bought ads and had accounts on their platforms. Altogether, this gave the Kremlin access to the largest online ad business and the largest video website in the world.
This is the first time Google has been reported to admit to evidence of this activity.
Facebook has announced changes to the way adverts are signed off, including "additional human review and approval" for some targeted ads. But Google has declined to say if it plans to testify publicly before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which are leading the investigation and intend to hold two hearings on November 1.