Twitter Offered Russian Television Network RT 15% Of Its Total Share Of US Elections Advertising

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Twitter wanted RT to spend big ahead of the 2016 US election, offering a significant portion of its election-related ad inventory in return. The social media company offered the Russian state–owned television network up to a 15% share of voice (“SOV”) on US election advertising — or the percent of all ads run on that topic — for $3 million.

RT’s share of voice was 2% at the time of the pitch, according to a June 2016 email from a Twitter sales executive to RT staff members that RT shared with BuzzFeed News. The $3 million spent would multiply RT’s share of voice more than sevenfold, but still leave it short of CNN’s 56% and FOX’s 32%. RT declined the offer.

“We do not have any comment on our private conversations with any advertiser, even a former advertiser,” a Twitter spokesperson said. Twitter did not dispute the email’s validity.

After courting RT’s ad dollars during the 2016 election, Twitter reversed course last week when it said it would prohibit accounts owned by the network from advertising on its platform: “This decision was based on the retrospective work we’ve been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government.”

The intelligence report Twitter referenced called RT “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”

Both the Russian government and WikiLeaks played important roles in the 2016 US presidential election. WikiLeaks published a trove of hacked emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and top Clinton adviser John Podesta. Russia-backed hackers are suspected of illegally obtaining and handing over those emails. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating members of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with the Russian government during the campaign. And the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency tried to influence the election and sow discord in its aftermath via a widespread campaign on social media.

At an open Senate hearing Tuesday, Twitter, Facebook, and Google were pressed for answers on why they didn’t see Russian election meddling taking place inside their platforms. “I want to understand why no one seems to have caught on to the Russian effort earlier,” Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said at the hearing.

All confessed their shortcomings, adding they were making fixes. Twitter’s testimony explicitly noted the “off-boarding” of RT’s accounts from its ad platform. And RT came up in both the Senate and House Intelligence Committee hearings dealing with Russian interference Wednesday.

RT may no longer be a Twitter customer now, as the company made clear at the hearings, but not long ago it was a multimillion-dollar sales prospect.

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Robin Paul says:

Go Lionel, you are on a roll.

helmeteye says:

Imagine if Twitter had banned BET.

klionfan1 says:

damn it , i thought you were real, until i saw the double 666 symbol ,

Ancientreapers says:

Twitter is just another arm of the government. Ask yourself this: How could they have stayed in business all these years if they are always in the red? They are kept afloat by tax payer money from the government. The in the red info is what they give us from their public accounting book. I'd like to see their secondary private accounting book.

Ruby Honey says:


John Lansing says:

RT there is one sin that cnn brought out…..tell me that you did not turn that hero PIKACHU into Russian agent PIKACHUSKI!!! No no no please nooo

John Lansing says:

Thank you RT for keeping a classy operation!

Marek Osinski says:

Lionel is getting really angry , wow he told them , great job , congrats Mr.L

no po says:

Lionel is patriot

motta bobo says:

Russians and Chinese are working together, Russians are smart and best in chess and Chinese 'invented' the ruse and are smart. I lived a year in Russia. They bribed Bill and Hillary with lots off money, they couldn't resist and played stupid. Time and wellplaced info did the rest. Trump will bring Deep State down with the help of Russia and China, they have centuries of experience when swamps are concerned. Very funny to watch , like a traincollison in slow motion. After this is over America will be different: peacefull. Maybe for the first time in its existence. Kuddo's for Lionel and RTand thank you.

Strong Aingel says:

Best neews interview I have watched for Years… WE LIVE Lionel, WE LIVE, after that .. I KNOW NOTHING, in good order .. with your good self.

John Dennison says:

Some of your best work, Lionel.

Michael Johnson says:

How about the Chinese and Saudi Arabian influence in the endless companies they own or have majority interest
located within our country.

sumplex city says:

I’m glad RT turn down the offer seems like is a set up!!!

doug small says:

Probably more tweets from Australia and NZ

Alvin Gabriel says:

Shit they all belong on the Jerry. Springer show those wicked elites?

vladviking says:

Sorry RT your too late It doesn't take Russian rocket science to figure out most of our politicians and MSM are lying, useless, turd eating parasites

Double D says:

Sorry folks but RT is shit, Twitter is shit, Hillary is shit, Trump is shit and Lionel is shit… you twits are being pulled in multiple directions from every party… They are all full of shit… RT is only trying to flood the internet with Anti American BS to turn people against each other… but they never post the negative information that is in Russia… Russia is just as fucked up as the US. but you won't see this this on RT… that is called Biased information with an intent… Lionel is one of their puppets…. this guy is a nobody… you people are so fucking stupid…

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