Twitter has been facing a lot of criticism lately over Russian propaganda on its platform, and now it’s doing something about it. Twitter today announced that it will ban two media outlets with ties to Russian government, from its advertising platform. The two media outlets in question, RT and Sputnik, are widely believed to have deep alignment and ties with Kremlin interests.
Both RT and Sputnik have come under scrutiny in a report that was released by US intelligence agencies earlier this year. This report detailed some Russian efforts that influenced the US election.
“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,” Twitter said in a blog post. They also added that they arrived at the decision based on both the intelligence report and an “internal investigation of their behavior.” This decision of banning from advertising applies only to those two advertisers, the company clarifies.
Both media outlets will be allowed to reach users through unpaid means. Twitter has also disclosed that it received $1.9 million in advertising dollars from RT since 2011. The company also says that it will give that money to groups working on external research around Twitter and politics.