Russia Today and Sputnik banned from advertising on Twitter
The ban follows alleged interference in the US election
Twitter has made the bold move of banning Russia Today and Sputnik from advertising on its service following revelations the two businesses tried to interfere with the US election on behalf of the Russian government.
The social network said it would also be donating all the money Russia Today has ever spent on advertising (around $1.9m) to support external research into how Twitter can be used in elections. It will include how automation can be used to influence voters and how it can be used to present misinformation to social networkers.
Twitter revealed Russia Today spent $274,100 on its US election campaign while the rest of the $1.9m total was spent on unrelated advertising campaigns since it became an advertiser in 2011.
"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," the company said in a statement. "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."
The company added that it isn't investigating into any other companies and it will let Sputnik and Russia Today continue to use the platform, but as organic users rather than paid advertisers.
"This decision is restricted to these two entities based our internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI report," Twitter said.
Facebook is also looking into the companies advertising on its social network during the US Elections and is helping the US intelligence agencies in their enquiries.
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