Google probing itself to find out if it was used for Russian propaganda, reports say

Google is digging deep into its own systems to find out if Russia-connected individuals or groups used its ads or services to try to influence the presidential election that brought President Donald Trump to power, new reports said.

Facebook and Twitter were already found to have been exploited by Russia-linked propagandists to influence the election results.

Russia has denied meddling in the election.

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Google, which is talking to congressional officials probing alleged Russian election-meddling, is now conducting a “broad internal investigation” to determine whether it was used as Facebook and Twitter were, the Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 29.

“Congressional leaders have scrutinized Facebook and Twitter this month for Russian activity on their sites — and criticized the tech companies for their lack of disclosure of such information,” according to the WSJ.

“Google, pending a potential meeting with lawmakers, has said little.”

The paper’s report is based on an unnamed source said to be familiar with the matter.

Facebook has shared with Google some information about “Russian-operated profiles” Facebook found on its social-media platform, Recode reported Sept. 29, based on three unnamed sources said to be familiar with the situation.

“It is unclear if Google has found any suspicious ads or other content after evaluating Facebook’s data,” the tech website reported.

“Google’s investigation appears to be much broader in scope than a similar one by Twitter, which had drawn the ire of Congress for appearing to be incomplete.”

Google and Facebook declined to provide public comments to Recode, according to the site.

In coming weeks, the search giant will give a private briefing to U.S. lawmakers who are examining Russia’s political moves, Recode reported.

Google has been asked to join Twitter and Facebook at two hearings in the House and Senate “where the industry will face questions — out in the open — about its safeguards against Russian political interference in the future,” according to Recode.


Photo: Google CEO Sundar Pichai in 2015 (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)


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