Facebook suspended the company’s account in March after fresh revelations were published about how user data had been passed to the company by a developer on its platform — although the Guardian newspaper originally linked the firm to Facebook data in a story published in December 2015.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to us what the company describes as a “policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica on advertising”, adding the decision was taken “weeks” ago.
“This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” the company spokesperson added.
The move is unrelated to reports yesterday that Twitter had sold public user data to Dr Aleksandr Kogan — the Cambridge University academic who sold Facebook data to Cambridge Analytica in 2014, after harvesting it via an app that drew on Facebook’s APIs to pull information on users and their friends.
Last month Kogan told a UK parliamentary committee he had subsequently used some of the money Cambridge Analytica had paid him for gathering and processing the Facebook data to buy some Twitter data, though he said he had intended to use that for his own purposes, not for selling to others.
On this, Twitter’s spokesperson also told us: “Based on the recent reports, we conducted our own internal review and did not find any access to any private data about people who use Twitter. Unlike many other services, Twitter is public by its nature. People come to Twitter to speak publicly, and public Tweets are viewable and searchable by anyone. In 2015, GSR [Kogan’s comapny] did have one-time API access to a random sample of public Tweets from a five-month period from December 2014 to April 2015.”
Cambridge Analytica has also denied undertaking a project with Kogan’s company that used Twitter data.