Twitter plans to open ad data to users
- Author: Megan Austin Oct 27, 2017,
Oct 27, 2017, 0:37
Doing so would require the company to disclose funding information and be more outwardly transparent about its relationship with the Russian government, but as CNN reports, despite a mid-October deadline request by the DOJ, there's no sign RT is planning on registering.
Twitter noted that it will make updates first in the US, and then roll them out globally.
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.
Both outlets will be allowed to maintain their Twitter accounts, the company said. RT said that it even published a marketing proposal Twitter had sent the company previous year in which it tried to sell RT on its services, including Twitter's ability to help RT "deliver an unbiased point of view of the USA elections with an edge".
In a statement on its website, RT said that it has never been involved in any illegal activity online and "never pursued an agenda of influencing the USA election through any platforms, including Twitter".
Twitter's presentation on Capitol Hill drew sharp criticism from a key senator who accused the social media company of not being aggressive enough in probing Russian interference in the election.
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Twitter said Thursday that it was taking $1.9 million that the company projected that it had earned from RT advertising since 2011, including $274,000 spent during the USA election, and donating the funds to external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including malicious automation. "It is especially unfortunate that the american media in Russian Federation, now, are likely to feel the softness of the retaliatory measures of Russian Federation".
The outlets are each owned by the Russian government.
Off-boarding advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik.
RT has thrived on social media, particularly YouTube and Facebook.
Russian Federation slammed Twitter's decision and threatened to retaliate.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state media that the move was a violation of global laws that "guarantee the freedom of speech". Despite several members of the Trump campaign re-tweeting the account, Twitter failed to freeze it for several months. She called the move a "result of pressure from some of the USA establishment and security services".
"Banning any particular person, group or country is just bad policy - in other parts of the world, platforms will come to be viewed as a tool of USA or other foreign policy and it will give authoritarian regimes more excuses to ban speech", Albert Gidari, who as a lawyer has represented tech companies, said in an email.