Google is funneling money to some of the web’s most prolific purveyors of false information in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. A ProPublica investigation has discovered this.
A ProPublica analysis has predicted to discover how Google’s automated digital ad operation placed ads from major brands on global websites spreading false claims about such topics as vaccines, COVID-19, climate change, and even elections.
In one instance, Google continued to place ads on a publication in Bosnia and Herzegovina for months after the U.S. government officially imposed sanctions on the site. It wasn’t until ProPublica contacted them that Google stopped doing business with the site, which the U.S. Treasury Department described as being “the personal media station” of a prominent Bosnian Serb separatist politician.
Google ads provide a major source of revenue for websites that spread disinformation about the voting system. These sites often have false claims about the security of the system, advanced by the president in power. The vote is uncertain after Bolsonaro’s surprisingly strong showing during the first round of voting.