The tech giant announced it would no longer allow ads from the two Russian media outlets to run on its platforms, citing allegations that they meddled in the 2016 US presidential election as the motive behind its decision. Sputnik discussed the issue with Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Twitter said on its blog recently that its decision to ban RT and Sputnik's advertising was based "on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 US election."
Following the statement, RT published Twitter's election advertising sales pitch, which demonstrates that the tech giant was vying for millions of dollars from RT in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.
In an interview with Radio Sputnik, US analyst Daniel McAdams commented on the issue by saying that Twitter's move was politically motivated and that Russia's "demonization" is unlikely to be over.
Sputnik: RT actually published a Twitter ad pitched to them. They also revealed that they rejected the offer and decided on a very basic ad plan. Will this possibly put an end to the witch hunt?
Daniel McAdams: No, I don't think it will because I don't think it's based on anything rational. First of all, the real collusion is the collusion between the mega-companies like Twitter and Facebook and the US government. Twitter's move is clearly meant to head off the coming testimony that Twitter, Google and Facebook are going to have in the House and the Senate, intelligence units. They will be able to go there and show the government how they are cracking down on RT and Sputnik and it can be currying some favor. So, this is really all about politics more than anything else.
Sputnik: Unlike RT, Sputnik has never taken out any Twitter ads, and the tech giant should have known that. So what's the point of banning someone who doesn't even advertise?
Daniel McAdams: It's all politics. They are going to sit down in front of the Committee, and say yes, we are cracking down. The real danger here is that America has become a corporative state where corporations and governments collude. They do each other's bidding: you know if we really had a free market system in the United States… these corporations would tell the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress: "We have a business to run, it's not anything illegal, so buzz off." That's what you would do in a free society. Instead, they are going to come down here, going to talk about how they are dealing tough with Russia and it's all about currying favor with government.
Sputnik: Is it time then to dust off anti-trust laws and use them against organizations like Google and Twitter?
Daniel McAdams: No, because that just gives the government more power and the problem is that the government has too much power and it shares that power with corporations that collude. So giving the government more power is like putting the gasoline on the fire. That's not the solution at all.
Sputnik: Twitter has promised more transparency when it comes to ad campaigns. Does this mean all media or just the convenient ones like RT or Sputnik in your view?
Daniel McAdams: Well, they certainly thus far have not announced they are going to have any additional oversight when it comes to ads purchased by other government-funded media like BBC, France 24 and the others that advertise other state-sponsored, Al Jazeera and what have you. They are not being cracked down on and this is just another reason why the whole thing is just political. "How dare they have a TV show that shows critical of the US government?… How dare they criticize the US surveillance state?" You know all these things that the intelligence reports, you know, evidence that RT is so horrible, you know, opposing Western intervention. This is what the American media should do; this is what the mainstream media should do. And they don't do it because they are in bed with government. That's the real problem here.
Reprinted with permission from Sputnik.