Twitter drops hammer and sickle on RT, Sputnik ad buys over election shenanigans

 In Biz & IT, Election Interference, intelligence community, Policy, RT, Sputnik, Twitter

Twitter drops hammer and sickle on RT, Sputnik ad buys over election shenanigans

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Enlarge / “They will love this promoted tweet, da?” (credit: Kremlin official photo)

In a blog post published today, a spokesperson for Twitter announced that the company has decided to block paid advertisement posts by Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik. “Twitter has made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, effective immediately,” the post stated.

The bans are the result of “retrospective work” done by Twitter’s global public policy team to investigate the use of the service during the 2016 presidential elections to conduct state-sponsored influence campaigns. The US intelligence community found “that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government,” the Twitter spokesperson wrote.

“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 post states. “Early this year, the US intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter.”

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No more sponsored Tweets, but Russia-funded media sites can still post “organic” Tweets.

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