Google has discovered that Russian agents spent thousands of dollars to buy ads on the tech giant’s many platforms to spread false information during the 2016 presidential election, according to a report on Monday.
The discovery marks the first time the Silicon Valley behemoth has confirmed Russian-linked ads were distributed across its many products — including YouTube, Gmail and DoubleClick — the Washington Post reported.
But the ads do not appear to come from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farms that bought thousands of ads on Facebook intended to distribute disinformation online about the election, the report said.
Google began the investigation after Congress asked tech companies to help determine how Russian agents used social media to influence the election.
The ads on Google, which cost around $100,000, supported Donald Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party candidate Jill Stein, the report said, while others promoted anti-immigration stands and racial hatred.
Facebook has acknowledged that about 3,000 ads purchased by Russian-backed accounts were used to generate discord during the election, focusing on issues like gun control, Black Lives Matter and immigration.
It has turned the ads over to congressional panels investigating Russian involvement in the election.
The company said it will not release the ads publicly.