Twitter Bans All RT Advertising, Citing ‘Election Interference’
Twitter has banned RT and another Russian news outlet, Sputnik, from placing any advertisements. The action comes after they “attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government.”
The social network says it will give away money already earned from the two companies.
“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,” the California-based company said in a statement on its blog.
“Twitter has made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, effective immediately,” Twitter said.
Before it publicized its decision, Twitter sent a letter directly to RT, in which it explained the move in terms of making sure that “people feel safe” when they use the microblogging site.
“At Twitter we believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power. We also want to ensure that people feel safe when they interact with our site, and that advertisers bring value to our users,” it wrote.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan has posted the social network’s own pitch for an RT advertising campaign ahead of last year’s election, in which Twitter said that the news site would provide an “unbiased point view of the US Elections with an edge.”
“Hope Jack Dorsey [Twitter CEO] won’t forget to tell Congress how Twitter pitched RT to spend big $$s on US election ad campaign,” tweeted Simonyan.