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Google Investigates Facebook's Russian Political Operatives, Will Address Congressmen (recode.net) 93

An anonymous reader quotes Recode: Facebook has shared some details about the Russian-operated profiles it discovered on its platform with Google, as the search giant -- with the rest of the tech industry -- continues to probe the extent to which Kremlin-backed misinformation spread through their websites during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It is unclear if Google has found any suspicious ads or other content after evaluating Facebook's data, an exchange of intel confirmed to Recode today by three sources familiar with the matter. At the very least, Google's investigation appears to be much broader in scope than a similar one by Twitter, which had drawn the ire of Congress for appearing to be incomplete. A Google spokesperson declined to comment for this story, as did a Facebook rep.

For now, though, Google is slated to deliver a private briefing to U.S. lawmakers studying Russia's political tactics in the coming weeks, additional sources told Recode. A date does not appear to have been set. And the search-and-advertising giant has been asked to join Facebook and Twitter at two upcoming hearings in the House and Senate where the industry will face questions -- out in the open -- about its safeguards against Russian political interference in the future.

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Google Investigates Facebook's Russian Political Operatives, Will Address Congressmen

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, that'll be unbiased.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The whole thing is absurd. The very idea that Russians are pretending to be other people on the internet, I mean who would believe that? Our great president Putin i mean Trump says it's nonsense and that should be enough for any rational person. Those Chinese though, I wouldn't trust them.

      • What I keep wondering is.... is this truely illegal? I can say anything I want.... âoeHillary Clinton used to be a man, and had gender reassignment surgery! Donâ(TM)t vote for her.â and that would be completely within my rights thanks to the first ammendmant.

        Iâ(TM)m free to say whatever I want. Now advertising.... that is just paying others to say it for you. But letâ(TM)s forget about that (for the moment). Letâ(TM)s assume Russia paid to advertise something online. Fine. What

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          So now every single IP in Russia is the Kremlin, every single one. No Russian individuals have IPs in Russia, no companies have IPs in Russian, no Foreign companies operating in Russia have IPs. Every single internet protocol address leads to KGB headquarters in Moscow controlled by Vladimir Putin himself personally, whilst he sits half naked astride a Kodiak bear, he needs no keyboard, he controls the entire internet more than Google, Twitter, Facebook, and all the other American media corporations and no

      • What I keep wondering is.... is this true illegal? I can say anything I want.... âoeHillary Clinton used to be a man, and had gender reassignment surgery! Donâ(TM)t vote for her.â and that would be completely within the rights of the first ammendmant.

        Iâ(TM)m free to say whatever I want. Now advertising.... that is just paying others to say it for you. But letâ(TM)s forget about that (for the moment). Letâ(TM)s assume Russia paid to advertise something online. Fine. Whatâ(T

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You'll see them crying whataboutism and "but the NSA!" in each and every thread.

  • Google (Score:1, Insightful)

    in private briefings, with government officials, about *Russia*... Sounds like a match made in heaven.

  • If we don't, Democrats might have to face the possibility that Hillary Clinton lost because she was a horrible, corrupt human being [battleswarmblog.com] and that the Democratic Party's ideas are deeply unpopular with the American public.

    And we can't have that.

    Why cover the corruption trial of a sitting Democratic U.S. Senator [foxnews.com] when Trump's doorman's cousin might have talked to a Russian once?

    No, by all means let's talk about RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! more, no matter how many anonymous leads turn out to be bunk, how many dead ends

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If we don't, Democrats might have to face the possibility that Hillary Clinton lost because she was a horrible, corrupt human being and that the Democratic Party's ideas are deeply unpopular with the American public.

      The first never stopped anyone from becoming President before(and certainly didn't stop Trump), and the second is untrue, since at last count, the American public voted for her more than Trump, and as a party, the Democrats are hardly unpopular, certainly not by any great margin compared to the GOP.

      If they were, the GOP wouldn't need to engage in such gerrymandering and voter discrimination practices as they have been found guilty of committing numerous times.

      Why cover the corruption trial of a sitting Democratic U.S. Senator [foxnews.com] when Trump's doorman's cousin might have talked to a Russian once?

      Same reason you'll never talk about a Republican

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      And to think it used to be the conservatives who blamed all their troubles on Ruskie conspiracies, supported racial segregation and discrimination, and opposed free speech. Ah, but how the old script has flipped these days.

  • The Royal Scam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

    Then:

    In 2008, Trump took over the licensing and management of a Puerto Rican golf resort, the Coco Beach Golf and Country Club. But the resort filed for bankruptcy in 2015, leaving Puerto Ricans with nearly $33 million in outstanding bond payments.

    Now:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/... [chicagotribune.com]

  • I'll once again point out that no one has never been able to conclude that Facebook advertising even works at all, thanks to recent internal findings from Procter & Gambles. So if basic advertising on Facebook doesn't work, then how exactly do you expect a major election to be swayed by that same mechanism? Since we can't at all prove that anyone has been hacked, then how exactly is 'The Russians' going to do anything?

    Now please, tell me exactly how 'The Russians' are going to influence a US president

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      whataboutism

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is a big difference. When you see an ad for dish soap, fast food, or the newest SUV you're probably not emotionally invested and so those ads have little effect. But politics is like religion for many people, so the emotional response can be much greater.

      As an example, I'm sure we have seen someone who scoffs at ads in general get all worked up about a new Android/IOS ad IF they happen to be fanboys.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OYAHHH ( 322809 )

      > I'll once again point out that no one has never been able to conclude that Facebook advertising even works at all

      I don't give a rats ass what P&G says. I burned through $1k in FB ads last year and I averaged one page "Like" for every $0.06 I spent.

      Facebook even congratulated me and noted my ad performed in the top 92% of all ads on FB during that time.

      I created a good advertisement that interested people in a good product. P&G got nothing for their money because they have a BORING product.

  • From what I've been hearing Russian operations have been more to sow strife than to support either candidate. But don't trust me on that research it yourself.
  • ... then the report is simply not trustworthy. Anyone reading slashdot comments has been reading paid american propaganda, government or corporate, regardless of whether they know it or not.
  • There is a segment of American society that thinks:

    1. Illegal aliens should be allowed into the country in spite of there being laws against it.

    AND

    2. Foreigners shouldn't have free speech in America in spite of there being no laws against it.

    Seems to me the Russian goal of divide and conquer is working very well on that segment of society.

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