MOSCOW – A Russian government spokesman said on Friday he regretted that United States social media company Twitter is to stop accepting advertising from accounts owned by his country’s media companies Russia Today and Sputnik.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the decision once again showed a deep prejudice against Russia.
“We regret this,” Peskov said. “We regret that, first and foremost, this company is most probably falling victim to deep prejudices about our mass media,” Peskov said about Twitter’s decision.
Twitter Inc. had on Thursday denounced Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik for interfering in the 2016 US election and vetoed those Russian media from being able to buy advertising on its social media network.
Twitter had come under criticism in the United States for not having made a serious effort to deter international interference, particularly by Russia.
Peskov said Twitter had set a precedent of unequal treatment towards its clients, warning it could stir up anxiety and concerns among other users of this social media.
The Kremlin spokesman said he hoped the US company would consider sorting out the situation and reach the conclusion that Russia’s media, such as RT and Sputnik, cannot be disqualified for being interventionist.
“We still hope that in the end, the company will deem it necessary to analyze this situation in detail and in the end will come to a conclusion that the work of free mass media, which RT and Sputnik are certainly part of, should in no way be qualified as meddling in the electoral process,” Peskov said.
Twitter had said on Thursday it took its decision following inquiries it had made which mirrored the US intelligence community’s own conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government.
“We did not come to this decision lightly, and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter,” the company said.