Twitter Inc on Friday announced that it has banned advertisements from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, saying the cybersecurity company’s business model conflicts with advertising rules and citing US government claims that Kaspersky has ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
Twitter confirmed the ban in an e-mail after Kaspersky Lab cofounder Eugene Kaspersky disclosed the development in a blog post on Friday, saying that the company learned of the ban in early January.
The ban follows charges by Washington that Kaspersky Lab has close ties to intelligence agencies in Moscow and its software could be used to enable Russian spying, which prompted US President Donald Trump’s administration to ban its products from US government networks.
Kaspersky said in his blog post that he was surprised by Twitter’s ban and asked the company to reconsider.
“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 cybersecurity industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them,” Kaspersky said.
The Russian company said in a statement that Twitter was the only social media company to ban its ads, but other social media companies have taken action.
Facebook Inc in January told the US Congress that it had in October last year removed Kaspersky Lab from its list of antivirus offerings to users who go to the social media site from a computer that might be infected with malicious code.
It is rare for Twitter to ban specific advertisers, although it has imposed restrictions on broad categories of advertising.
In October last year, the social network accused Russian media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik of interfering in the 2016 US elections and banned them from buying ads.
Last month, Twitter said it would prohibit cryptocurrency advertising to avoid giving publicity to potential fraud.
Twitter more frequently removes ads on a case-by-case basis, although enforcement is uneven.
Last year, Twitter removed a video ad from US Representative Marsha Blackburn, saying a remark she made about abortion was inflammatory. Twitter later reversed the decision.
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