Just the other day, Twitter made an announcement confirming that they would prevent Sputnik and RT from using their services. For starters, these are Russian based international news outlets. Twitter announced that these two companies no-longer had the rights of advertising on its platform. However, this only functioned to intensify the relationship between Russia and the United States in the way Russia was using propaganda to divide Americans. At the same time, Russian Foreign Ministry warned that it would retaliate. This is regarded as one of the most aggressive moves that have been implemented by an American social media platform when dealing with the Russians. Russian has been accused by the United States intelligence that it played a huge role in interfering with the US elections. This ban also comes at a time when RT is being forced by the US government to register as a foreign agent. For starters, RT was formerly referred to as Russia Today. Twitter issued a statement later saying that they didn’t come to the decision very easily. They further said that it arose from the desire and the commitment to offer their customers integrity while dealing with the platform. The ban was announced through the blog that is run by Twitter. However, Twitter further said that the two companies would be allowed to maintain their accounts. At the same time, no other advertiser will be affected by the ban.
RT later responded through their editor in chief Margarita who referred to the decision by Twitter to ban them as highly regrettable. She further said that this is just a retaliation of the United States against Russian companies. The Russian government also did not take the move lightly. Through Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the government said that the United States had taken another aggressive step on their companies. She further said that the decision had been influenced by American intelligence officials. These events come at a time when Silicon Valley companies that include Google, Facebook and Twitter are under increasing pressure for the role that they played in influencing the 2016 presidential elections. For instance, Twitter has said that Russia used human paid trolls to interfere with the American people public opinion. At the same time, the Russian government participated in the creation of nearly 10,000 fake accounts that were used for the same purposes. There is also a growing pressure to control the size and power of tech companies from America.