March 19, 2018

Russia's RT hits back at Twitter after its ads were banned

29 October 2017, 02:55 | Frank Carlson

Twitter just booted Russian media ads offline

Twitter Opens Ad Transparency Center to Disclose Political Ads

The decision comes in response to allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections. Twitter said in September that RT and other affiliated accounts "promoted - meaning sponsored, or paid for special placement on the platform - 1,823 tweets that "definitely or potentially targeted the US market".

The ban will not apply to any other advertisers, Twitter said.

On its website, Sputnik editor-in-chief called Twitter's decision "regrettable".

Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, is set to testify for the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about how Russian Federation used it platform during the election.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the move an "aggressive step" which was the "result of pressure from some of the United States establishment and security services".

The corresponding steps Twitter has taken in recent weeks to address these issues-banning 200 Russia-linked accounts, releasing new guidelines to counter harassment, ending dark ads (promoted posts that can be seen only by people who advertisers pay to target), and now banning Russian state-sponsored ads altogether-seem, to echo Warner, inadequate.

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Twitter also said that its own internal investigation of the Russian entities' behavior helped it come to the conclusion to ban them from advertising.

Twitter also announced they'd use the money earned from RT's advertising to fund external research into Twitter's use in civic engagement and elections. The company promised to share more details on that soon.

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.

Twitter will immediately terminate all advertisements from Russia Today and Sputnik-owned accounts on its platform, the firm announced today.

Twitter has been criticized for not being as proactive as Facebook, which this month said it planned to strengthen its review process for political ads and would begin disclosing which pages purchased them moving forward.

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