Another day, another argument about the validity of certain Russian news outlets. Now, Twitter has jumped into the fray. What they have done is make the choice to ban two Russian news outlets from advertising on their platform. Those outlets are Sputnik and RT. It is a move that is certainly bolder and perhaps more controversial than what a lot of other social media outlets are willing to deal with.
Pressure From United States Authorities
Twitter seems to have acted on its own to make the decision to ban advertising from these particular news outlets. However, there has been plenty of pressure from United States authorities towards those outlets to stop certain actions themselves. In fact, RT has received pressure to register as a foreign agent.
Executives at Twitter say that they did not make the decision without a lot of thought going into it. At the moment, these are the only two outlets that are facing the new ban on advertising. Other types of advertising are also banned on Twitter, but these are mostly things that would either be considered a danger to public health or hate speech.
RT Fights Back
The editor-in-chief of RT, Margarita Simonyan, has said that the decision by Twitter is a regrettable one. The news outlet has also gone on to say that the decision is yet another sign of the United States taking measures to punish Russia for something that the country and these news outlets still largely claim they did not do. Of course, the issue largely divides conservative and liberal minded individuals in the United States as well.
Many conservative supporters of the President refuse to believe that the past election was influenced in any way by Russian news outlets. Meanwhile, liberal citizens would like more investigations to be launched into what exactly happened. It is something that has divided people into camps in a lot of ways.
There are congressional investigations ongoing in relation to the Russian influence in the 2016 Presidential election. Those investigations put Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others right at the center of their case in a lot of ways. As such, the move by Twitter today may be something of a defensive measure by the company before they are likely made to testify before Congress. Regardless of why the decision was made, it seems clear that people are going to argue with each other about it immensely.