MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK parliamentarians "took offense" at Twitter after it failed to provide evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum and asked Twitter "to dig dipper," RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Friday.
On Wednesday, Twitter wrote to Damian Collins, head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, which is leading the inquiry into the matter. The company explained that it had identified only one account likely funded from Russian sources, which promoted content related to the Brexit referendum during the campaign period. The account belonged to the broadcaster RT and published six referendum-related ads, having spent $1,031 on them. On Thursday, Collins called the information the IT giant had provided an "inadequate response."
The parliamentarian also criticized Twitter by saying that journalists and academics had so far provided more information about activities on the social network than the company itself. The parliamentarian also set January 15 as a deadline for Twitter to provide the relevant information at his request.
Facebook also faced criticism from Collins on Wednesday after the company said in response to his inquiry that a mere $0.97 was spent by Russia's Internet Research Agency on the referendum-related ads. Google, which has also been asked for input in the probe, said it had found no evidence of Russian interference.
In the meantime, Twitter has banned advertising from accounts owned by RT and Sputnik news agency, on the basis of its internal investigation, which was carried out following the US intelligence community’s conclusion that both media outlets had attempted to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. The move provoked criticism in Russia, which has repeatedly denied any meddling activities.