Twitter announces the addition of new labels on state-affiliated media accounts
With the increase in fake news and misinformation, Twitter finally decided to clamp down on government accounts that were using their platforms to advance their own political agenda through financial resources and make them known to the public by adding labels.
When it comes to conversations with government and state-affiliated media accounts on Twitter, we’re helping to make the experience more transparent.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) August 6, 2020
We'll now use two distinct profile labels for these types of accounts, so you can easily identify them and their Tweets. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/JW67o422MO
Since most of the population gets their news from social media apps like Twitter, they decided to add labels to increase public trust for the platform and provide the public with the resources to make an “informed decision”.
On 6 August 2020 Twitter said: “We believe this is an important step so that when people see an account discussing geopolitical issues from another country, they have context on its national affiliation and are better informed about who they represent.”
Twitter announced that they would start to add these labels on the accounts of senior officials, foreign ministers, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders as well as state-affiliated media companies and their senior staff.
They specified that the labeling would first start in the five countries that are currently the permanent members of the UN’s security council which are the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France and would eventually span out globally.
The tags are already visible on accounts like ‘People's Daily, China’ and ‘Russia Today’ (RT):
Twitter added: “We will also no longer amplify state-affiliated media accounts or their Tweets through our recommendation systems including on the home timeline, notifications, and search.”
The latest update on Twitter, to increase the trust of their followers and support a free and independent press, comes as no shock after their 2019 ban on all political advertising on the platform as well as labels added to political candidates in the U.S. 2018 election.
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Should other social media companies do the same?
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