Sep 30, 2017

Google conducting an internal Russia investigation

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during a ceremony announcing a $300 million expansion of Google's data center operations in Lithia Springs, Ga. Photo: David Goldman / AP

"Google has become the latest Silicon Valley giant to become entangled in a widening investigation into how online social networks and technology products may have played a role in Russian interference in the 2016 election," per the N.Y. Times' Daisuke Wakabayashi:

  • "Google said it would cooperate with congressional inquiries ... Google was called to testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Nov. 1."
  • "Google is the only company that sells more digital advertising than Facebook, and its YouTube service is the go-to place for videos on the internet."

And the Wall Street Journal reported that Google "is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters":

  • "Google sells ads above its search results, before YouTube videos and on third-party websites and apps. Google even offers a specific ad tool for political campaigns that it says will help advertisers 'win the moments that win elections.'"
  • Why it matters: "The site is a hotbed for highly partisan political videos, including misleading and false content. And it is a primary way Russian media with direct links to the Russian government reach viewers, particularly in the Western world."

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.