Twitter vowed to stop Russian disinformation on the social network, and banned hundreds of puppet accounts and bots. Now, a Russian-based cybersecurity company is caught up in the conflict.
Kaspersky Lab’s founder Eugene Kaspersky wrote an open letter on Friday, calling out Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey over an advertising ban on the social network. In the letter, Kaspersky revealed that Twitter had banned Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, telling the cybersecurity company that its business model “conflicts with acceptable Twitter ads.”
“Kaspersky Lab considers this action – an advertising ban without any valid reasoning or evidence of misconduct– as being contradictory to Twitter’s principles for freedom of expression,” the company said in a statement.
Russian trolls on social media have plagued social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as lawmakers and public opinions call for the tech companies to have better quality control. US officials have taken action, like announcingas well as .
Twitter has taken action too, by banning accounts tied to the Russian trolling effort. It’s also taken a stricter advertising stance against Russian-based organizations, including. Now Kaspersky Lab is also under that ban, despite the company’s efforts to stay out of the Russian conflict.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
“You’re only shooting yourself in the foot when you cater to the geopolitical noise and start refusing to promote material on false pretenses,” Kaspersky said in his letter.
Kaspersky blames the same “geopolitical noise” for the US’s government’s ban on Kaspersky Lab products. Lawmakers are concerned that, with allegations that spies are using its antivirus software to steal secrets. He’s called it “false allegations” on multiple occasions.
He added that the company would not be advertising with Twitter for the rest of 2018, even if the ban were lifted. The funds will instead go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kaspersky said.
In 2017, the company spent about $94,500 on Twitter advertising.