The Latest: Google: “Some” evidence of Russia-linked misuse
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on tech-company disclosures related to the Russia investigation (all times local):
Google says it found “some evidence” of misuse of its platforms by a pro-Russian government group, but said the activity was “limited.” It found that two accounts linked to the group spent $4,700 on ads its platforms during the 2016 election.
Its statement came a day before Facebook, Twitter and Google are scheduled to appear at a congressional hearing on Russian interference.
Google also found 18 YouTube channels likely backed by Russian agents. The channels hosted 1,108 videos with 43 hours of material, although they racked up just 309,000 views in the U.S. between June 2015 and November 2016. Google said it has suspended the accounts.
“While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is acceptable,” the company said in a blog post .
Facebook says a Russian group posted more than 80,000 times on its network during and after the 2016 election, potentially reaching as many as 126 million users.
The company plans to disclose these numbers to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the testimony. The person declined to be named because the committee has not officially released the testimony. Facebook, Twitter and Google will testify at three hearings Tuesday and Wednesday.
Facebook lawyer Colin Stretch will explain Tuesday that Russia’s Internet Research Agency posted the material between 2015 and 2017. The posts spread widely, although many of those 126 million people may not have seen it.
Such “organic” posts are distinct from more than 3,000 advertisements also linked to the agency.