Twitter bans ads from Russian news orgs RT, Sputnik

  • 27/10/2017
RT's Twitter account is still active.
RT's Twitter account is still active. Photo credit: Newshub.

Twitter has banned advertisements from accounts owned by Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, citing allegations by US intelligence agencies that the outlets tried to interfere with the 2016 US election.

Election-meddling is "not something we want on Twitter", the San Francisco-based social network said in an unsigned statement on Thursday.

"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 said.

In addition to Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet's Google have recently detected that suspected Russian operatives used their platforms last year to purchase ads and post content that was politically divisive.

RT said in a statement on its website that it has never been involved in any illegal activity online and "never pursued an agenda of influencing the US election through any platforms, including Twitter".

A representative for Sputnik was not immediately available for comment.

Twitter said last month it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts as it investigates propaganda efforts related to last year's US presidential race.

Russia's Foreign Ministry called it a "yet another aggressive step aiming to block the activity of Russian channel RT", and "retaliatory measures will naturally follow".

Reuters / Newshub.