San Francisco – Google has found evidence its platforms were exploited by Russian operatives seeking to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Google, a unit of Alphabet, “found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation” across Google’s products, the newspaper wrote, citing people familiar with the company’s investigation.

The company told AFP that it has “a set of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion.” Google had previously said it was not used in the alleged Russian campaign to steer the November US presidential election won by Donald Trump.

US justice officials are also probing the alleged Russian involvement, and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

© AFP Elijah Nouvelage Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks about artificial intelligence in San Franciso on October 4, 2017

© AFP Elijah Nouvelage – Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks about artificial intelligence in San Franciso on October 4, 2017