Twitter just booted Russian media ads offline

Key Points
  • Twitter is removing all advertising from accounts owned by Russia Today and Sputnik.
  • Russia Today spent more than $270,000 advertising on Twitter last year.
  • Twitter said both accounts can remain active, however.
Jack Dorsey attends the '#SheInspiresMe: Twitter celebrates female voices & visionaries' event in Cannes, France.
Francois Durand | Getty Images

Twitter said on Thursday that it's immediately removing all off-board advertising from two of Russia's largest media outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik.

In late September, Twitter said that three accounts tied to Russia Today, including @RT_Com, @RT_America and @ActualidadRT, were specifically targeting "the U.S. market in 2016" ahead of the presidential election. Twitter said at the time that RT spent $274,000 in U.S. ads last year and promoted more than 1,823 tweets.

Twitter said both accounts will remain active as organic users.

"Early this year, the U.S. 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," Twitter said in a blog post on Thursday. "This decision is restricted to these two entities based our internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI report. This decision does not apply to any other advertisers. RT and Sputnik may remain organic users on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules."

Twitter said it will donate the $1.9 million in advertising revenue it received from RT to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation."

Read more on Twitter.