Facebook and Twitter got major investments from form with ties to Kremlin-owned corporations, as reported by Recode. Details in newly revealed confidential documentation called Paradise Papers, shows that both social media networks had major investments from Russian government tied corporations.
The Paradise Papers were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The documents were then reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigate Journalists and several news outlets. In the documents, it’s revealed that Kremlin-owned corporations VTB Bank and Gazprom funded DST Global’s investment in Twitter and Facebook. DST Global received $191 million from VTB Bank, where a part of the money was used to get a large stake in Twitter, ICIJ reports.
After investing in Facebook, DST Global partnered with an off-shore company that is heavily funded by Gazprom, a Russian-owned energy corporation. DST Global previously owned 5 percent stake in Twitter and 8 percent stake in Facebook before selling shares.
“It is worth noting that as a passive investor DST Global themselves had no voting rights or board seat,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “The investment was made eight years ago and DST Global has since sold their holdings in Facebook – their stake ended five years ago when we went public.”
Right now, there is no evidence that DST Global helped the linked firms gain influence over Twitter and/or Facebook. Right now, both social media giants are facing federal investigations into how both platforms were used in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.