Aug 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Twitter to label state-affiliated media accounts

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Photo Illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter will begin labeling accounts belonging to state-affiliated media outlets from countries on the U.N. Security Council, it announced Thursday.

The big picture: The new policy will affect “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content” in China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S., according to the announcement.

  • “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,” Twitter said.
  • The change will also apply for the organizations' "editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff."
  • Twitter won't label "state-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US," it said.

Why it matters: The move comes as social media companies face rising calls to address foreign influence campaigns and misinformation on their platforms. Facebook began labeling state-backed press accounts in June.

Worth noting: Twitter will also label the accounts of senior government officials from U.N.S.C. countries "who are the official voice of the state abroad," including foreign ministers, ambassadors, and diplomatic leaders.

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