This is an interesting development. Twitter has announced that they have banned two media outlets that have Russian government links.
Both RT and Sputnik are media agencies with rumoured links to the Kremlin. What makes this so interesting is that there is still no hard proof of the links (that we know of). Both agencies have been under US intelligence scrutiny in the post-election Russia scandals, but nothing has been confirmed in stone.
This is a bold move by Twitter and one that has beaten Facebook to the punch. Just RT alone spent over $1.9 million in advertising on Twitter since 2011 and as part of the announcement, Twitter has said they will give that money to groups that are working on external research around Twitter and politics.
According to Twitter in a blog post:
“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,”
and that they arrived at the conclusion after an intelligence report and an:
“internal investigation of their behavior.”
Well done Twitter!