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Russia's RT Publishes Twitter's $1.5 Million Pitch for 2016 Election Coverage Boost
29 October 2017, 02:56 | Gordon Grant
An example of what a future political ad may look like
All advertising from RT and Sputnik will be banned on Twitter, the company announced Thursday, due to the U.S. intelligence assessment that the state-owned Russian media outlets attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It just explained that it would "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".
In the blog post announcing the decision, Twitter cited the DNI report naming both RT and Sputnik as part of Russia's state sponsored efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential 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 United States intelligence reports saying they were part of a Russian effort to disrupt last year's vote.
Sputnik told AFP news agency it "has never used advertising on Twitter".
Twitter will be joined by Googleand Facebook in testifying before USA lawmakers on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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Twitter, Facebook and Google's general counsels are scheduled to testify in Washington D.C.in the House and Senate intelligence committees next week about how Russian involvement in US elections affected their platforms.
RT slammed Twitter's move. Twitter also said this week it will disclose more information on political ads.
The public will now be able to find who paid for the ad and all other campaigns the advertisers have run on twitter, as well as how much each ad cost. Warner had calledTwitter's first interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee "frankly inadequate" and "deeply disappointing".
The pitch RT published on Friday shows Twitter proposing a deal that specifically included a $1.5 million budget for boosting RT's exposure on the platform during the US election campaign.
The RT post included screenshots it said were from a Twitter presentation. CNN, Radio Liberty and Voice of America are reportedly on the list of "potentially undesirable media", but it isn't yet clear what steps would be taken against them.
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