Twitter said on Thursday it would ban ads from RT and Sputnik, two state-sponsored Russian news outlets that the USA intelligence community has said tried to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.
"Twitter's decision should prevent these entities from pushing Russian propaganda in front of users who may not realize the manner in which Russia employs both RT and Sputnik to spread disinformation and undermine democracies around the world", Schiff said in a statement. Twitter's general counsel along with representatives from Facebook and Google will testify on November 1 to the House Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing about the use of social media to sway the 2016 election.
RT and Sputnik condemned the move, and Moscow threatened retaliatory measures.
"The main idea pitched by Twitter to RT was "to take a stand".
"Having since been banned, and in order to set the record straight, we are publishing Twitter's presentation and details of the offer in full", RT said in its latest article.
The company also announced that it would donate the $1.9 million RT has spent on Twitter advertising since 2011 to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation".
United States experts say both go about as "a stage for Kremlin informing".
The Russian Foreign Ministry made a similar threat after Twitter's announcement.
"I never thought that Twitter is under the control of the US security services - it seemed like a conspiracy theory".
Americans are too smart to fall for ads on social media and other platforms that were paid for by Russian agents, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says in a new interview posted Thursday. "It was never proved that RT and Sputnik were doing anything illegal".
It said the identified Twitter accounts were suspended mostly for breaking Twitter's rules against spam - that is, flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message or links.
Padraig Reidy, a former editor at Index on Censorship, a UK-based free speech group, said greater transparency would be a better approach. "They [social media companies] have to show they know where the money is coming from".