Twitter confirmed the ban in an e-mail to Reuters after Kaspersky Lab co-founder Eugene Kaspersky disclosed the development in a blog post on Friday, saying the company learned of the ban in early January. Banning Kaspersky Labs is now in fashion; the security firm's products have been blocked from use in the USA government due to concerns over links to Russia, and in January, Twitter quietly made a decision to ban Kaspersky's ads on its platform citing concerns about the company being in cahoots with the Russian government.
Given that more than two months had passed since then, Eugene said he had chose to "publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban; fully explain the decision to switch off our advertising capability, and to reveal what other cyber security companies need to do in order to avoid similar situations".
In light of the social network's decision, Kaspersky has vowed to donate his company's annual Twitter advertising budget to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, citing its work fighting online censorship.
"I see that of late you've been having concerns about the "health" of your social media platform, and how it can be used maliciously for spreading disinformation, creating social discord, and so on", Kaspersky said in the opening line of his post, which is addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
It was back in December previous year that the Trump administration had signed a new law that was implemented to ban the Kaspersky Lab software within the United States government agencies. What specific (or even non-specific) rules, standards and/or business practices we violated are not stated in the letter.
Twitter has not issued any public statement about why it has banned Kaspersky Lab from advertising.
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"Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats", Eugene said.
"In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company 'operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices, '" he added.
"The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry". "But please, dear Twitter managers, I think it's of the utmost importance that any and all changes you do introduce in response to existing challenges are divulged in full and applied in a transparent manner". "In my view, the ban itself contradicts Twitter's declared-as-adopted principle of freedom of expression".
Kaspersky denies allegations it has links to the Russian government and is seeking to overturn a ban on the use of its products by the USA government.
"Therefore, the company is calling on Twitter to provide a more specific and detailed explanation of its decision".