The ads in question appear to be from a different Russian outfit than the "Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook", the report notes, suggesting that "the Russian effort to spread disinformation online may be a much broader problem than Silicon Valley companies have unearthed so far".
However, Google has not found any evidence that the ads from the accounts suspected of having ties to the Russian government used these political categories or geographic parameters to target specific groups, the person familiar with the company's investigation said.More news: Google Pixel XL 2 is already out of stock
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Google plans to have a more thorough investigation than Facebook or Twitter. Facebook and Twitter recently revealed similar attacks on their networks, but Google has kept with the line that malicious ad campaigns weren't run on the company's platforms. Facebook has said those ads reached just 10 million of the 210 million US users that log onto the service each month.
Significantly, these adverts don't appear to come from the same sources as the Russian-linked ad campaign on Facebook.
The social network recently turned over evidence to Congressional investigators about thousands of alleged Russian-bought ads that were created to throw the presidential election into chaos.More news: Say goodbye to East vs. West; NBA alters All-Star Game format
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the story.
Google operates the largest online business of advertising in the world, and YouTube is the largest video site online in the world.
This is the first time Google has been reported to admit to evidence of this activity. In September, the social network said it found $100,000 worth of spending on divisive political ads on its platform by hundreds of Russian-linked fake accounts and pages during a period that included the 2016 presidential election. Associated accounts are confirmed to have purchased ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.More news: Saudi king in historic first visit to Russian Federation for talks with Putin
Google has avoided the intense scrutiny Facebook has been subjected to over the response to alleged Russian electoral interference, however this could change as the investigation continues. The company is testifying before congressional investigators on November 1, along with Twitter.