Google

Google skipping out on Congress means public missed important answers

"Foreign propaganda from Russia and Iran spreading on Google's platform is also a concern for lawmakers. In July, Google rolled out stricter policies for political ads. Yet watchdog group Campaign for Accountability found it could still buy ads with a Google AdWords account it set up using the name and details of a notorious Russian propaganda group -- ads it paid for with rubles."

Facebook’s Sandberg and Twitter’s Dorsey defend their companies at Senate Intelligence hearing

"'There's an empty chair next to you from Google, they're not here today. Maybe it's because they're arrogant,' said Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blasting the search engine. Rubio then referenced a recent report showing how the group Campaign for Accountability was able to pose as the Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency and set up political advertising on Google’s ad network."

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) Cite CfA’s Research

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing on foreign influence campaigns' use of social media platforms. Several senators criticized Google for not attending the hearing, while Facebook and Twitter sent top executives. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) cited CfA's research in their criticisms of Google, specifically CfA's successful effort to pose as a Russian troll farm to buy Google ads.

This Group Posed As Russian Trolls And Bought Political Ads On Google. It Was Easy.

“Google has admitted it’s trying to stop this activity when it comes to issue ads but its clear there’s a huge gap in their policing of this content,” Stevens told BuzzFeed News. “It feels like a flagrant abdication of responsibility and it’s in-line with the trend we see from Google — they're very hesitant to crack down on things that are a threat to their business model.”

Posing as Russian Troll Farm, Watchdog Buys Politically Divisive Ads on Google

On September 4, 2018, CfA released a report documenting how CfA bought politically divisive ads on Google using Russian rubles and a Russian IP address. CfA posed as the infamous Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and bought ads using similar language and the same images that the IRA deployed during its 2016 influence campaign. The ads ran on major U.S. media websites and their YouTube channels.

New Report Reveals Facebook and Google Benefit from Placing Employees Inside Political Campaigns

On August 14, 2018, CfA released a new report, “Partisan Programming,” detailing how political campaigns utilize embedded staffers from Facebook and Google to help run their campaigns – an arrangement that provides companies with unique access to top politicians. CfA also called on the leaders of the House and Senate Rules Committees to investigate the arrangement and determine whether new laws or regulations are needed to prevent tech companies from abusing their relationships with politicians.

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