Social media giants have found themselves in hot water after it was publicly revealed that Russia used their platforms to push their own political agenda and interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. Facebook has taken multiple steps to combat “fake news,” however ineffective they may be. Twitter is now following suit and has announced that they will “off -board advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (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,” explained the announcement on Thursday. “This decision was based on the retrospective work we’ve been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government. 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.”
“Early this year, the U.S. 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 announcement continued.
According to the announcement, Twitter is only restricting these two entities and no other advertisers will be affected, as these are the only two outlets who have been definitively named as part of Russia’s meddling in the presidential election in an effort to help elect Donald Trump.
The announcement added that Twitter intends to donate the “$1.9 million we are projected to have earned from RT global advertising since they became an advertiser in 2011” to “external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation.”
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