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As Twitter looks to turn a profit, Russia and EFL kick-off at ad bans and faults

TWITTER HAS had an eventful 24 hours, but even so, it might be about to turn a profit for the first time, like, ever.

The news started with an announcement that the company was banning adverts from Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. Twitter says that US Intelligence has provided evidence showing that the two sites placed state-sponsored copy that was designed to skew the result of the US Election in 2016.

It added: “Twitter has also decided to take the $1.9 million we are projected to have earned from RT global advertising since they became an advertiser in 2011, which includes the $274,100 in 2016 US-based advertising that we highlighted in our September 28 blog post, and donate those funds to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation.”

RT has countered by showing what it alleges is a presentation given to executives by Twitter’s top brass showing the potential for joint coverage of the election.

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, the live draw for the Carabao Cup which was due to be streamed live on Twitter in the UK was delayed for over two hours and eventually had to be recorded and streamed as-live, for technical reasons. The English Football League has demanded an apology and an enquiry.

Twitter said: “We’re sorry for the issues that led to the delay of today’s round five draw. We would also like to apologise to the thousands of supporters who had been patiently awaiting news of who their team would be playing.”

The draw saw some players in a team drawn against some other players in a different team to kick a ball around for an hour and a half and get paid considerably much more than they should.

But it’s not all bad news. Twitter’s financials came out overnight, and good news sparked an 18 per cent jump in shares, the biggest one-day gain in the company’s history, as it finally looks like the microblogging service could become profitable, much to everyone’s relief.

Overall revenue beat expectations coming in at $589.6m, with $503m in advertising revenue. This despite an admission that it had miscalculated its user numbers. Although it rose by 4m overall, it now has to be offset by between 1m and 2m in over-calculations from previous periods.

But then the vast majority of them will just be moaning anyway. Time for a nice cup of Covfefe. µ

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