WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Twitter Communications Director Emily Horn has declined Sputnik's request for an interview regarding her company's decision to block advertisements from Sputnik and RT and referred Sputnik to the company’s press release published on Thursday.
Sputnik asked Twitter to explain what kind of influence the company believes RT and Sputnik had on the election campaign and whether Twitter sees any illegal activity by the Russian media outlets.
Twitter was also asked how it can reject advertisements from Sputnik if the news agency never paid for any such services on Twitter.
The news agency said in a press release that it had never used paid promotions on Twitter. "Our subscribers are those who are tired of the 'mainstream' and who are looking for an alternative perspective on the news," the press release read.
As the news about the advertising ban came, Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief, revealed that Twitter actually pitched the broadcaster on buying election advertisements promising some perks as a customized emoji-hashtag, customized analytics, and a special team to develop a strategy. However, the media outlet rejected the offer because of the excessive price tag and the possibility that the offer would be against RT's interests.
How Twitter offered to “interfere” in US elections. For lots of $$. https://t.co/icV4cLZyT1— Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) October 27, 2017
Unfortunately, during hearings on the matter, Twitter forgot to inform the US Senate Intelligence Committee about the pitch. Twitter also refused to comment on Simonyan's accusation. "We do not have any comment on our private conversations with any advertiser, even a former advertiser," a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that Twitter's decision in regards to RT and Sputnik is another act of aggression to impede the work of Russian media, which is a result of a campaign of pressure by the US establishment and intelligence agencies. Zakharova said Russia will take "reciprocal measures."