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Ban on all advertising in RT, Sputnik accounts shows US controls Twitter — diplomat

November 02, 19:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The ban has demonstrated Twitter’s commercial unworthiness and absolute dependence on the likes and dislikes of the US establishment, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. Twitter’s decision to remove all advertising from the accounts of RT television channel and news agency Sputnik shows that the US authorities directly control the process of decision-making in this company, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We believe that this particular ban has demonstrated Twitter’s commercial unworthiness and absolute dependence on the likes and dislikes of the US establishment, which directly controls the process of decision-making in this company. That’s the way we see it," she said.

"We are urging the users of all social networks to derive conclusions in this particular situation," Zakharova said. "Today Twitter has outlawed the advertising of Russian mass media, including RT and Sputnik. Tomorrow it may follow volatile political preferences to declare as the United States’ enemies some mass media or businesses that cooperate with Twitter not only in our country, but also in any other country. At the same time, just as the RT channel, they may invest in advertising campaigns and some other joint projects only to get such image costs for their own money."

Zakharova said that Russia interpreted that decision in the context of "continuing attempts by the US Administration to eliminate a source of alternative information some US political circles find unsuitable."

"Here belongs the US authorities’ wish to see Russian mass media on the list of foreign agents," she said.

RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonian earlier said the US authorities had demanded the RT should declare itself as a foreign agent. Twitter later said that it had made a decision to off-board all advertising from the RT and Sputnik accounts. Twitter explained that its decision was based on "the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 US election and the US intelligence community’s conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government."

Russian presidential secretary Dmitry Peskov regretted the company had fallen victim to deep prejudice towards Russian mass media and in fact created a precedent of inequitable treatment of its clients.

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