Twitter has banned two Russian media outlets from advertising on the social network after concluding that they colluded with the Kremlin to influence the US election.
Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, which have spent a combined $1.9m (£1.4m) on Twitter adverts, were blacklisted after an internal investigation into the two, following US intelligence reports saying they were part of a Russian effort to disrupt last year’s vote.
The decision prompted a furious response from the two news outlets, which are funded by the Russian government and seen as its mouthpieces in the West.
RT claimed that Twitter had approached the company in the run-up to the election, trying to encourage it to buy adverts and even designing a campaign for the outlet that would present it as an “unbiased point of view”.
Twitter said: “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.
“Early this year, the US intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter.”