Friday, October 27, 2017

Twitter Stops Accepting Ads From Russian News Outlets

Twitter will no longer run ads from Russian-funded news outlets RT and Sputnik, the company announced Thursday.

According to The Hill, the move came hours after RT's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, said that Twitter had pitched her outlet on buying election ads, a claim later followed up by an article on

"This decision was based on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government," Twitter said in a blog post Thursday morning.

"We did not come to this decision lightly, and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter."

RT and Sputnik will still be allowed to use their Twitter accounts but will no longer be able to promote tweets or run ads on the platform.

Twitter revealed that it had earned $1.9 million in ad revenue from RT since 2011, including $274,000 in 2016. The company said it would be donating that money to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation."

Twitter's general counsel will be testifying before the House and Senate Intelligence committees next week as part of Congress's investigation into the Kremlin's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

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