Microsoft investigates Russian pro-Trump ads

15 Russian Facebook Advertisements Revealed to Public

Black lawmakers call on Facebook and Twitter to purge racist ads

The company has already provided the information of 3000 ads purchased from Russian fake accounts, for which more than $100,000 was spent by the Russian agency to Congress. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, paying $1 billion in cash and stock.

Now Facebook is telling advertisers that political and other types of ads will be reviewed by humans before they go live, according to Axios. The ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated entity that bought ads on Facebook, but may indicate a broader Russian online disinformation effort, according to the source, who was not authorised to discuss details of the confidential investigation by Alphabet's Google.

Microsoft is also looking at whether Russians bought United States election ads on its Bing search engine or other Microsoft-owned products and platforms and it might be Putin's advertising campaign might be greater than many first thought.

The investigation found that Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, and the company's DoubleClick ad network.

That step may yet come after Facebook bowed to Congressional pressure and handed over descriptions of the suspicious ads themselves, rather than just dollar figures, potentially allowing many more similar adverts to be identified. Russia's ad purchases on Google were first reported by the Washington Post.

Google did not immediately comment on the report, which said the company discovered the Russian presence by siphoning data from Twitter. YouTube is the world's largest online video site.

"We take reports of misuse of our platform seriously..."

Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg will meet with lawmakers at the Capitol on Thursday as the company manages the fallout from revelations that Russian actors used Facebook to influence voters during the 2016 elections. The US president, of course, has remained publicly sceptical about any of it, even after gleefully challenging Russian Federation to hack into Hillary Clinton's email system as similar leaks of Democratic emails were happening. Google has not confirmed plans to attend.

Lawmakers have summoned Facebook, Twitter and Google for public hearings on the matter.

Google has been invited to testify before both the House and Senate intelligence committees next month.

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