Microsoft joins the search for Russian backed Ads

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One of Facebook's top executives met Wednesday with House members investigating the company's Russia-linked ads and told them the social media giant is serious about dealing with the issue.

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

Google's admission comes just a week after Facebook, the world's largest social network, revealed that a Russian internet agency past year purchased around 3,000 targeted advertisements aimed at influencing the presidential election, which saw Republican Donald Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hilary Clinton. The source said Google is still sorting out whether some of the ads came from legitimate Russian accounts.

The investigation is continuing, so there remains a chance that Google may find other ads from Russian-linked accounts, the person said.

Schiff said congressional investigators will ask the companies "why it has taken them so long to discover the Russian use of their technology and how thorough their forensic effort has been, what the impediments are, and how much work remains to be done, and, of course, most importantly, how are they going to ferret this out in the future".

The report further adds that the ads do now seem to have any link with those bought from Facebook.

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Some Democrats plan to introduce legislation to require internet companies to disclose more information about political ad purchases on their platforms.

Ads purchased by the Russian actors included messages suggesting that Black Lives Matter is a political threat and encouraged viewers to attend an anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rally in Idaho. But, a Columbia social media researcher, reported soon after that free Facebook content affiliated with just six of those 470 pages and accounts likely reached the news feeds of users hundreds of millions of times.

A study published on Monday by researchers with the Oxford Internet Institute, which is affiliated with the British university, found that current US military personnel and veterans were targeted by disinformation campaigns on Twitter and Facebook over the past year by a nexus of pro-Kremlin, Russian-oriented sites, along with conspiracy theorists and European right-wing ideologues.

At times, the lack of hard evidence has driven wild conspiracy theories about Russian involvement in Trump's ascent to power. Both panels plan to grill Facebook - as well as its peers, Google and Twitter - at back-to-back, public hearings on November 1.

Google's probe is in its early stages, WP's sources said.

Otherwise, though, Facebook has not released copies of the ads for public viewing.

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