Twitter labels state media, government officials’ accounts

Twitter

Twitter will tag their senior staff state-affiliated media outlets and some government officials’ accounts, the company said in a blog post yesterday.

The reports of Russia’s Sputnik, RT, and China’s Xinhua News are among the media organisations that will be labelled, according to a Twitter spokesman. He declined to provide a full list of entities.

“We believe that people have the right to know when a media account is affiliated directly or indirectly with a state actor,” Twitter said in its blog. It will also stop amplifying their tweets or these accounts .

Networking was defined by the media company as those in which the state exercises editorial control through political pressure or resources, or control over distribution and production.

Twitter explained that state-financed media outlets with independence, such as National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States, or the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the United Kingdom, would not be labelled. A spokesman also confirmed there were no US media outlets on the list.

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NPR receives minimal government funding.

Twitter said it focused its government official labels on officials and entities which represent the state’s voice abroad, such as institutional entities , official spokespeople and foreign ministers. Accounts will include @WhiteHouse, @StateDept, @Elysee, @10DowningStreet and @KremlinRussia.

The labels will at first be applied only to the officials from countries that are permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Twitter stated as there is public awareness of those individuals, the personal accounts of heads of states will not be tagged.

Twitter currently labels the accounts of candidates running for the US House of Representatives, Senate or governor throughout the 2020 election cycle.

Facebook also stated in June that it would begin labelling media organisations. In 2019, Twitter prohibited state-backed media advertisements.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford. Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols. Editing by Nick Zieminski and Dan Grebler.

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