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Twitter bans ads from two Russian media outlets, cites election meddling

Twitter bans ads from two Russian media outlets, cites election meddling

The news agency also highlighted Twitter's role in helping RT spread its messages on the platform.

"Twitter has made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, effective immediately", the San Francisco company said.

The report claimed: "Russia's state-run propaganda machine - comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network of quasi-government trolls - contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and worldwide audiences".

The company, in a statement on its blog, said it took the step as part of its "ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter".

Sputnik and Russia Today, also known as RT, won't lose their ability to post to Twitter - meaning they can continue using the service to circulate articles, videos and opinion pieces.

The two state-backed media companies have advertised with Twitter since 2011 and the forecast $1.9m revenue the platform has expected to have earned from them will be donated to charities supporting civic engagement.

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Russian Federation slammed Twitter's decision and threatened to retaliate.

Sputnik, a news agency, said on its website that Twitter's move was regrettable, "especially now that Russian Federation had vowed retaliatory measures against the U.S. media". She called the move a "result of pressure from some of the US establishment and security services". "Retaliatory measures will of course follow", she said.

Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to questions about whether they would limit Russian Federation media ad spending. The article goes on to chronicle what it describes as Twitter's attempts to encourage Russia Today to commit to a major advertising initiative to help increase its USA audience during the 2016 election.

Considering the relatively small sum each outlet spent on Twitter advertising-R.T. "It never pursued an agenda of influencing the USA election through any platforms, including Twitter". RT reported that he refused at the time this proposal because of its " excessive price ".

The Russian effort to influence the election is said to have consisted of several hundred fake Twitter accounts and about $100,000 worth of Facebook ads promoting "divisive" causes like Black Lives Matter.

When asked for its reaction, Sputnik said that it "has never used advertising on Twitter".

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