Twitter Bans Ads From Russian News Agencies Sputnik, RT

Twitter / Getty Images
Getty Images
October 26, 2017

Twitter announced Thursday that it will remove advertising from all accounts owned by RT and Sputnik following the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that the news agencies unlawfully attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election on behalf of the Russian government.

"We did not come to this decision lightly," Twitter said in a statement, "and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter."

RT and Sputnik, both Russian government funded news agencies, are allowed to remain users on Twitter.

The company also announced that the advertising money it earned from RT and Sputnik would be donated to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections."

"We will have more details to share on this disbursement soon," the statement concluded.

In late September, Twitter outlined work the company is doing to combat bots. That post alleged political targeting from Sputnik toward Americans during the U.S. election season.

Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, had previously called on Twitter to take more concrete action. In late September, he called the company's presentation on the subject to congressional investigators "inadequate on almost every level," Business Insider reported.

"Their actions have not matched their words in terms of grasping the seriousness of the threat," Warner said.