Twitter to label state-owned media and officials' accounts

WION Web Team
Washington, United States of America Published: Aug 07, 2020, 08:17 AM(IST)

Twitter Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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The labels will first be tested by applying only to the countries that are a part of the UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States

The social media giant, Twitter Inc has decided to label the accounts which are state-affiliated media outlets to help people know which accounts are directly or indirectly related to their government.

In a blog post released on Thursday, twitter said the accounts that are directly or indirectly related to the government, senor staff and key officials will now be labeled.

“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. 

These accounts will also not be amplified by twitter's recommendation system.

this process will be followed in the countries where the state has established its control over specific media organisations, such as Russia’s Sputnik, RT, and China’s Xinhua News, as reported by a Twitter spokesman. He also added that there are many more media houses in this list. However, it is being reported that there are no US-based media houses in this list.

Additionally, the media houses that are state-owned but exercise editorial independence will be given a free pass and will not be labeled under this process — such as National Public Radio in the US, or the BBC in the UK. The personal accounts of the state heads will also not be labeled as Twitter believes people are already aware about these accounts.

The news was not well received by every government. Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy, whose account now reads the label of "Russia government account" took to Twitter to criticise the move, “They think they can set the rules of the game! This is an illusion. Such clear double standards backfire and undermine credibility of Western media, with ‘state-affiliate’ labels or without. People can’t find truth and facts there anymore.”

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The labels will first be tested by applying only to the countries that are a part of the UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States. 

For now, all accounts that act as a mouthpiece for different governments have been labeled, such as @WhiteHouse, @StateDept, @Elysee, @10DowningStreet and @KremlinRussia.

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