Now Microsoft to look for Russian links to US election ads

Microsoft Corp said on Monday it was looking into whether Russians bought U.S. election ads on its Bing search engine or on other Microsoft-owned products and platforms after rival Google said it had discovered such ads on its products. A spokeswoman for Microsoft said in a statement in response to questions from Reuters that the company did not yet have any other information to share. A similar claim was made by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, wherein the companies hinted at Russia linked ads being run in the US during the 2016 US Presidential elections.

Facebook had said that it had found that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May. Facebook, the dominant social media network, said 3,000 ads and 470 “inauthentic” accounts and pages spread polarizing views on topics including immigration, race and gay rights. Another $50,000 was spent on 2,200 “potentially politically related” ads, likely by Russians, Facebook said.

Twitter had similarly revealed that nearly 2,000 ads were placed on the messaging service in 2016 by a Russian media group suspected of trying to interfere with the US presidential election.

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