Effective immediately, Twitter will no longer permit advertising on the platform from Russia Today (which uses the moniker “RT”) or Sputnik.
Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Thursday morning, linking the companies’ accounts to “Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election.” While advertising related to them will cease, the accounts themselves will remain in operation.
Both media outlets are backed by the Russian government and push political narratives favoring its officials. In January, a U.S. intelligence report concluded the two are arms of “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine.”
The social media outlet disclosed RT spent $274,100 on ads in 2016, and $1.9 million on ads since joining the platform in 2011. Twitter said Thursday it will donate those funds to an external group researching “the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation.”
RT responded to the decision in an opinion piece, calling the accusations that it’s seeking to influence people via advertising on Twitter “absolutely groundless.”… see more