Twitter has released an official statement announcing that it would no longer accept Russia’s advertisements. It is believed to be an effort by the companies of Silicon Valley to distance themselves from Russia, especially ahead of congressional hearings next week on foreign efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.
There are serious doubts, though, regarding this move of the US government. Most of that Russian activities do not involve advertisements. Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, has recently exposed that the Russian-controlled Facebook accounts may have reached out to users hundreds of millions of times through ordinary posts instead of advertisements.
The sentiment and discussions on issues like immigration, guns, abortion, and unemployment can impact the upcoming elections. Russia Today and Sputnik has more than 2.65 million and 200,000 Twitter followers, respectively.
Russia Today has recently retaliated by sharing details about a meeting with Twitter back in April 2016, where Twitter tried to convince RT to “spend big” on the 2016 presidential election. In response to questions, a spokesperson for Twitter obviously ignored revealing anything.
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Twitter announced on Tuesday that it is emphasizing increasing the transparency of advertisements by allowing users to see how long the advertisements have been running, the content of the ads, and which ads have been targeted at whom. Facebook has done the same earlier this month by including tools allowing users to see which advertisements a page is running. The announcements do sound decent enough.
As reported by Politico, additional evidence of elections being influenced by tech companies emerged Thursday in a study by two university professors. They concluded that Twitter, Google, and Facebook employees were embedded with the Trump campaign and were “active agents” in shaping its strategy and message.