Twitter has barred Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik from placing ads on the platform.
The prohibition comes after the two news agencies “interfered” with the 2016 U.S. elections using the social network.
In a blog post, Twitter said, “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.”
While Twitter has stopped RT and Sputnik from placing ads, the two media outlets “may remain organic users on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”
Meanwhile, Twitter said it will donate the advertising revenue from RT “to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections.”
“Twitter has also decided to take the $1.9 million we are projected to have earned from RT global advertising since they became an advertiser in 2011and donate those funds to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections.”
The $1.9 million includes the $274,100 in 2016 U.S.-based advertising that the platform highlighted in a blog post on September 28.
Details of the disbursement will be revealed on Twitter soon.
Twitter, along with Facebook, have become embroiled in the issue of how the social media was used to influence the 2016 U.S. election and its outcome.
Facebook, in particular, was bombarded with questions after a National Intelligence report in January found evidence of a Facebook campaign originating from Russia.
Twitter, for its part, provided info to Congress last month and vowed to be more transparent over political ads and electioneering with a new system, TechCrunch reported.
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