Twitter Bans RT and Sputnik Advertising Citing Months-Old Intelligence Report

Twitter Bans RT and Sputnik Advertising Citing Months-Old Intelligence Report

The social media company Twitter on Thursday announced it would block any advertising on its platform from Russia-sponsored news outlets Sputnik and RT.

Twitter says it will ban ads from RT and Sputnik, two state-sponsored Russian news outlets that the USA intelligence community has said tried to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

In a statement, Twitter said it did make the decision to ban advertising from the two outlets lightly, and said it was looking to "protect the integrity of the user experience".

Twitter said it would take the estimated $1.9 million it had earned from RT global advertising since 2011 and donate the money "to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections".

Twitter says that Russia Today spent $274,100 in USA -based advertisements in 2016.

Beyond politics, Twitter's transparency center will show all ads that are now running on the platform, how long they've been running, who created them, and which ones are targeted to users.

This breaking news story is being updated as more information emerges - please refresh the page for the most recent version.

Twitter announced in a blog post that based on the USA intelligence community's findings regarding interference from the two sites during the 2016 election was enough to make the decision.

Russian Federation slammed Twitter's decision and threatened to retaliate.

Facebook disclosed last month it had found ads linked to fake accounts - likely run from Russian Federation - that sought to influence the USA election. Twitter and Facebook have both pledged to increase transparency surrounding political ads.

Off-boarding advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. The decision comes after an internal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the media after sessions of the Council of Heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Sochi, Russia October 11, 2017.

Facebook said the ads focused on divisive political issues such as immigration and gun rights in an apparent attempt to sow discord among the US population.

"Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum - touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights", Facebook said in a September 6 post.



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