Twitter said it would no longer “highlight” tweets from state-controlled media organisations and exclude them from the recommendation system, the BBC reported. This makes it unlikely that affected accounts will appear on search results, notifications and users’ timelines. The company will also label accounts of government-linked media and “key government officials” from countries such as France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Twitter says its actions are aimed at providing people with more information about what they see on social networks. Other social platforms, including video-sharing giant YouTube, have tagged channels for state-backed media groups.
Twitter will label “media organizations that control editorial content through financial resources, political pressure, or control of production and distribution.”
In addition, accounts of editors and senior officials will be tagged. However, publicly paid news organisations with editorial independence will not be labelled, including the BBC and the NPR network.
The voice of the government.
Twitter said it would label key government officials, including foreign ministers, agencies, ambassadors and speakers from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
“Our focus is on senior officials and entities, who are the voices of the nation-state abroad,” Twitter said.
However, politicians’ personal accounts are not always labeled. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump’s popular Twitter account @realDonaldTrump will not be tagged, and his official account @Potus will be identified.
Explaining the decision, Twitter said personal accounts “enjoy a wide range of name recognition, media attention and public awareness.”
Twitter says it will expand its list of tagged accounts over time and include more countries.