Twitter bans ads from two Russian media outlets
- Author: Joey Payne Oct 27, 2017,
Oct 27, 2017, 0:38
"This decision was based on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 USA election and the USA intelligence community's conclusion that both R.T. and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government", Twitter said, citing a report from January 2017.
The two state-backed media companies have advertised with Twitter since 2011 and the forecast $1.9m revenue the platform has expected to have earned from them will be donated to charities supporting civic engagement. Twitter also said this week it will disclose more information on political ads.
RT has thrived on social media, particularly YouTube and Facebook.
Further, the report claims "Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect [Donald] Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him", though it provides no direct evidence for either of these claims.
The company said on Tuesday that under its new rules, users would be able to see who had created an ad, how long an ad had been running, and how the ad was targeted towards a specific user.
The report, RT said, "implied that the channel was trying to influence Twitter users via advertising on the platform".
Last month, Twitter confirmed that state-owned RT spent $274,100 on US ads on its platform during 2016.
Last month, Twitter said it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts as it investigates propaganda efforts related to last year's election.
Twitter's move may put some pressure on Google and Facebook to pull similar advertising from their sites.
Off-boarding advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. Twitter has since taken some steps toward transparency, announcing earlier this week that it would make all advertising public.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state media that the move was a violation of worldwide laws that "guarantee the freedom of speech".
Twitter and other Silicon Valley companies are facing government scrutiny over the role they played in allowing Russian disinformation to spread on their platforms during the election.
A US lawmaker, Representative Adam Schiff, applauded Twitter's move.