Twitter didn't tell Senate Intel about RT pitch to buy election ads

Twitter didn't tell Senate Intel about RT pitch to buy election ads

The two state-backed media companies have advertised with Twitter since 2011 and the forecast $1.9m revenue the platform has expected to have earned from them will be donated to charities supporting civic engagement.

Twitter on October 26 said it had banned ads from the accounts of RT and Sputnik, citing assertions by us intelligence agencies that the outlets were part of President Vladimir Putin's effort to influence the 2016 USA presidential election.

Twitter said on Thursday that it had chose to ban ads from RT and Sputnik, a Kremlin-backed news agency, based on its own internal investigation and on the USA intelligence community's assertion that the outlets tried to interfere in the election.

Twitter will immediately terminate all advertisements from Russia Today and Sputnik-owned accounts on its platform, the firm announced today.

The company also said it will take the almost $2 million it has earned on ads from the Russian news agencies since 2011 and donate it to support "external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections".

RT and Sputnik condemned the move, and Moscow threatened retaliatory measures. It is not clear what other correspondence took place between RT and Twitter over the issue.

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On Tillerson's visit to Pakistan, Geng said: "China supports the global community to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation and synergy".

"Nonetheless, you know, if we have foreign countries that are seeking to interfere in our elections, I think we need to take appropriate action in response", he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the move an "aggressive step" which was the "result of pressure from some of the U.S. establishment and security services".

"I never thought that Twitter is under the control of the US security services - it seemed like a conspiracy theory".

Facebook and Google have recently detected that suspected Russian operatives used their platforms past year to buy ads and post politically divisive content.

Such decisions may end up "making it harder for some people to spread both false and true information", he told Al Jazeera. "It was never proved that RT and Sputnik were doing anything illegal". RT's editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, on Thursday tweeted to Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey, saying that she hopes he "won't forget" about the pitch when he testifies at congressional hearings next week. "They [social media companies] have to show they know where the money is coming from".

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