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Twitter Bans Advertising by Some Russia-Based Outlets

Kremlin-funded RT called the ban ”greatly-misleading“

Twitter is saying nyet to Russian propaganda.

The social platform announced on Thursday it’s banning advertising from pro-Kremlin news outlets RT and Sputnik, stemming from its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. 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,” the company said in a blog post.

Twitter also pointed to an investigation from the “U.S. intelligence community” earlier this year, indicating RT and Sputnik attempted to “interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want.”

While being banned from advertising, Sputnik and RT (which rebranded itself from “Russia Today” in 2009) are allowed to continue operating their accounts.

Twitter has pulled in $1.9 million in advertising from RT since 2011, including about $275,000 in U.S.-based advertising last year. The company said it’ll be donating the money to “support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections.”

In a post quickly following Twitter’s announcement, RT pushed back against the company’s ban, calling it “absolutely groundless and greatly-misleading.”

“Twitter representatives pitched to RT a large-sum advertising proposal,” the state-owned outlet said in its post. “It was developed around promoting RT’s US election coverage on the micro-blogging platform. This proposal was eventually declined by RT.”

Last month, Twitter told the Senate and House intelligence committees it had “took action” against 201 Russian troll-farms peddling fake news. The company added it’s updating its tools to weed out fake news, including automation to detect “non-human activity patterns” and spam accounts connected to a single source.