Twitter Will No Longer Accept Ads From Russia's Kaspersky Lab


Although the firm is allowed to remain an organic user on the site, Kaspersky expressed disbelief at the decision and said he has been unable to get further clarification from Twitter on its reasoning.

Twitter Inc said on 20 April 2018 that it has banned ads from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, saying that the cybersecurity company's business model conflicts with advertising rules and citing United States government claims that Kaspersky has ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

"We haven't violated any written (or unwritten) rules, and our business model is quite simply the same template business model that's used throughout the whole cyber security industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them", he said.

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However, it would be worth noting the fact that Twitter had previously also banned the Russian media outlets Sputnik and Russia Today from its platform claiming that the publications had interfered in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

When asked to explain its ban, Twitter said in an e-mail: "This decision is based on our determination that Kaspersky Lab operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices".

Eugene Kaspersky didn't look at Twitter's tactics kindly.

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According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

"I see that of late you've been having concerns about the "health" of your social media platform, and how it can be used maliciously for spreading disinformation, creating social discord, and so on", Kaspersky said in the opening line of his post, which is addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Elsewhere he wrote: "Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats". The businessman insisted that Twitter should give a detailed explanation of the decision or admit it has made a mistake, saying this is the only way to cast away fears of political censorship. Twitter has since confirmed the ban in an email to Reuters. "But please, dear Twitter managers, I think it's of the utmost importance that any and all changes you do introduce in response to existing challenges are divulged in full and applied in a transparent manner".

We contacted Twitter for more clarity on the situation but the company responded with the same style of statement Kaspersky received. The notification then stated that Kaspersky Lab operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.

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Twitter's spokesperson directed us to a public notice by the US Department of Homeland Security that it's concerned about ties between Kaspersky officials and the Russian government.