NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it will ban ads from RT and Sputnik, two state-sponsored Russian news outlets that the U.S. intelligence community has said tried to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The San Francisco company also plans to donate proceeds from RT, formally known as Russia Today, and Sputnik ads to support outside research on Twitter use in civic engagement and elections. This amounts to $1.9 million the company expects to have earned since 2011.
Twitter, Google and Facebook are scheduled to testify at congressional hearings next week on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Twitter also said this week it will disclose more information on political ads.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state news agency RIA Novosti that Twitter’s move is “another aggressive step” aimed at blocking RT. She also hinted at retaliation.
“Of course, a response will follow,” she said.