Russian Operatives Posted More Than 1,100 YouTube Videos During Last Election

Accounts connected to the Russian "troll farm" Internet Research Agency spent $4,700 on Google ads during the 2016 election cycle, the company said Monday.

Google said the ads were not targeted by geography or inferred political preferences.

The company also reported that operatives from the Internet Research Agency uploaded 1,108 videos to 18 YouTube channels. The clips generated 309,000 U.S. views from June 2015 to November 2016.

Google's report comes on the eve of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that will explore Russian interference in the last election. Executives from Google, Facebook and Twitter are slated to testify at that hearing.

Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch will testify that material produced by Russian trolls landed in the news feed of around 29 million users, who then spread that content to around 97 million other users, according to the Washington Post.

Twitter plans to testify that the Internet Research Agency created more than 2,700 accounts on the platform, according to Recode.

Earlier this month, Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and John McCain (R-Arizona) unveiled the Honest Ads Act, which would require digital platforms with at least 50,000,000 monthly viewers to maintain publicly available copies of political ads purchased by groups spending more than a total of $500.

The companies also would have to maintain public records about the target audience, number of views, rates charged, and dates and times of publication.

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