Twitter To Take $1.9 Million In RT And Sputnik Ad Revenue And Donate To Russian Interference Research

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Twitter announced Thursday that it is donating $1.9 million in advertisement revenue from Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik for research in Russian-sponsored efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

The social media company is relinquishing its business relationship with the two Russian firms because of an “internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI [Director of National Intelligence] report.” Twitter specifically alleges that such retrospective work shows that RT and Sputnik “attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government.”

While Facebook has been getting the bulk of attention surrounding allegations that Russia actively tried to intervene in America’s electoral process, Twitter and fellow tech company Google have also been working with congressional investigators on the matter. (RELATED: Former Hillary Clinton Strategist Refutes Claims That $100,000 Had Huge Impact On Election)

Twitter calculated that it received approximately $1.9 million from global advertising since 2011, including $274,100 in marketing expenditures in 2016. Twitter said in September that RT and other affiliated accounts “promoted” — meaning sponsored, or paid for special placement on the platform — 1,823 tweets that “definitely or potentially targeted the U.S. market.”

The tech company did not specify which research organizations the nearly $2 million sum will go towards, and 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.”

Twitter declined to elaborate on particular details after The Daily Caller News Foundation specifically asked why it made the announcement on the same day it released its third quarter results, which showed that it miscalculated user growth for years.

“We will have more details to share on this disbursement soon,” reads the concluding sentence of the announcement, which was highlighted by a Twitter spokeswoman upon TheDCNF’s inquiry.

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