Twitter cuts ads from Russia Today and Sputnik-owned accounts

Twitter cuts ads from Russia Today and Sputnik-owned accounts

Twitter said on Thursday that it had chose to ban ads from RT and Sputnik, a Kremlin-backed news agency, based on its own internal investigation and on the USA intelligence community's assertion that the outlets tried to interfere in the election. That $1.9 million includes the $274,000 in US advertising a year ago that Twitter first disclosed in late September.

The development comes the same day that the San Francisco-based company announces a ban on advertising from Russian government-connected news services, Russia Today and Sputnik.

Russian authorities have not yet reacted to Twitter's decision, but it could become another push towards a media war between the two countries.

Twitter, Google and Facebook are scheduled to testify at congressional hearings next week on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Those disclosures did little to mollify some members of Congress, with the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee blasting Twitter's briefing as "deeply disappointing". Still, Twitter intends to take all payments made by RT, as well as its future payments, for ad placement there in the amount of $ 1.9 mln and donate those funds "to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections".

The move also drew a rebuke from the Russian Foreign Ministry, with a spokeswoman chastising Twitter for taking an "aggressive step" and warning that a "response will naturally follow".




Despite the advertising ban, RT and Sputnik, which are both state-owned, can remain "organic users" on Twitter.

The announcement could be an effort to preempt legislation introduced last week by Warner and Sen.

However, Twitter also said it might report a profit in the upcoming fourth quarter.

Effective immediately, Twitter will no longer permit advertising on the platform from Russia Today (which uses the moniker "RT") or Sputnik.

The pitch RT published on Friday shows Twitter proposing a deal that specifically included a $1.5 million budget for boosting RT's exposure on the platform during the US election campaign. "A reminder @RT_com is an exemplary @Twitter partner - could share their USA elex pitch deck if interested", she tweeted.

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