Twitter Ends Russian State Media Advertisements, Citing 2016 Interference Efforts

October 26, 2017

Twitter announced Thursday that a pair of Russian state media organizations would no longer be able to advertise on the service, a direct result of those organizations’ role in Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The announcement took place less than a week before much-anticipated hearings on Capitol Hill at which representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google are expected to be grilled by lawmakers about how Russia used their platforms as part of its influence campaign in the U.S.

Twitter’s decision to suspend advertising by Russia Today, or RT, and the news agency Sputnik is “effective immediately,” the company announced in a statement.

“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 company said.

Both organizations will still be allowed to remain “organic users” on Twitter — in other words, to maintain and operate accounts that distribute their websites’ content — but they won’t be allowed to pay to promote them.

Twitter also vowed this week that would launch an “industry-leading” transparency site about who buys ads on its service and what messages are involved.

This post will be updated.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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