Alphabet Inc’s Google has begun an internal probe on whether Russia-linked actors used its advertising and services to influence last year’s US presidential election, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have both disclosed political ad spending and accounts affiliated with Russia, and Facebook is sharing its findings with Google, this person said. They asked not to be identified talking about a private investigation.
Congressional officials have invited all three companies to public hearings in November to discuss the role of Russia in the election.
”We will of course cooperate with inquiries,” a Google spokeswoman wrote in an emailed statement. “We’re looking into how we can help with any relevant information.”
While Google has faced less public scrutiny on the topic than Facebook, the search giant has several popular products that could be tapped to influence the electorate. It runs the video behemoth YouTube and the Google Display Network places ads on millions of websites.
On Sept 7, a day after Facebook shared that some US$100,000 (RM423,150) in ads were connected to fake accounts on its platform, Google said it had “seen no evidence this type of ad campaign” on its platforms.
The Wall Street Journal and Recode both reported Google’s investigation earlier Friday. — Bloomberg