Russia has decided to take measures against Twitter after the US online news and social networking company banned adverts from two Russian news agencies.
Twitter on Thursday announced that ads from RT and Sputnik would not be taken after US intelligence community claimed Moscow had tried to interfere with the 2017 US election.
The San Francisco-based online service said it had taken the decision following its own investigations, as well as the US intelligence community’s conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the US vote.
Russian media outlets strongly criticized Twitter’s move on Thursday, with the RIA news agency saying it flouted international and domestic laws on free speech.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the decision was another aggressive step aimed at hindering the work of the Russian media in the United States and the result of pressure from US intelligence agencies.
The US social networking company said in an unsigned statement that meddling in elections is “not something we want on Twitter.”
“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,” the company said.
RT was quick to respond, stating on its website that it has never been involved in any illegal online activity and “never pursued an agenda of influencing the US election through any platforms, including Twitter.”
In addition to Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google have made similar claims of having Russian elements using their platforms last year to purchase ads and post content for divisive political activities.
Last month, Twitter said it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts in connection to last year’s US presidential race probe.