NEW YORK (Sputnik) – Russian Senator Igor Chernyshenko commented on Twitter's decision to ban advertising from the news outlets Sputnik and RT: "it is censorship… If they can't comment on the situation competently or push back against the activities that they consider wrong they just refuse to cooperate with two of our media outlets. I think it's a manifestation of weakness."
Twitter has announced that it has decided to off-board advertising from all accounts owned by RT and Sputnik, effective immediately, on the basis of an internal investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
"I believe that in any project or case, bans never lead to positive results. As a rule, it is a step backward or away," the senator added. "It is always better to have an open dialogue with comments, opinions than simply ban publication… Censorship and bans are not signs of democracy."
Twitter's ban comes as the social network's management is due to testify to a US House committee at a public hearing over its role in the suspected Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election. Senior executives from the company will appear alongside Facebook and Google staff members.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations of meddling in the US election. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow never interfered in foreign states' internal affairs and did not intend to do so.