Twitter Bans Two Kremlin-Backed News Outlets From Advertising


Twitter’s logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. The company said Thursday it would ban Russia Today and Sputnik from advertising on its platform.

Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Twitter will ban Russia Today and Sputnik, the two Kremlin-backed international news outlets, from advertising on its platform, a company official said on Thursday.

The decision marks one of the most aggressive moves by an American social media company against the Russian outlets, which United States intelligence officials have linked to a wide-ranging Kremlin effort, both covert and overt, to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

Twitter’s ban comes as United States authorities are pressuring Russia Today to register as a foreign agent under a World War II-era law intended to stop Nazi propaganda.

“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 a blog post announcing the ban.

The ban will not apply to any other advertisers, Twitter said. Russia Today and Sputnik will be allowed to retain their Twitter accounts.

Twitter said it had earned $1.9 million in advertising revenue from Russia Today since 2011. The company said it would now donate the money to research into the civic impact of Twitter, as well as its abuse by purveyors of fake news and propaganda.

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