Twitter Will Now Label State-Controlled News Media Accounts

Twitter says the new policy will help create transparency and provide context to users.

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Twitter has announced that it will no longer amplify tweets by state-controlled media outlets and will also specifically label accounts of government-linked media outlets.

It will also label the accounts of key government officials from the five permanent member countries of the United Nation Security Council - China, France, Russia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The micro-blogging platform said the new labeling policy would include accounts of key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders from these five countries.

"At this time, our focus is on senior officials and entities who are the official voice of the state abroad," the company said in a statement late on Thursday, 6 August.

The move is likely to make affected accounts less likely to appear on search results or notifications. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors and their senior staff will also be labelled.

The move will impact state-controlled media organisations like Russia's RT and China's Xinhua news agency.

In 2019, Twitter banned all state-backed media advertising and political advertising on the platform.

"For transparency and practicality, we are starting with a limited and clearly-defined group of countries before expanding to a wider range of countries in the future," said Twitter.

It further stated that it is not labeling the personal accounts of heads of state, as these accounts enjoy "widespread name recognition, media attention, and public awareness."

"Institutional accounts associated with their offices that changeover depending on election results will be labeled, however", it said.

State financed media organisations like the BBC in the UK will be, however, exempted from this labeling practice.

Accounts which are labelled will be notified and if the "account owner believes we've made a mistake, they can reach out to us directly", the company said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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