Twitter Will Mark The Accounts Of Government Officials And State-Affiliated Media With New Labels
Twitter will introduce a new design for the accounts of key government officials and state media; it will mark them with a special icon and inscription, the social network said on Thursday in its blog.
"We believe that this is an important step to ensure that people, when they see an account from another country where geopolitical issues are discussed, understand its nationality and are better informed about who it represents," the company's blog says.
The innovation will primarily affect the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Great Britain, China, France, and Russia. Icons with a podium and microphone will be displayed next to the government Twitter accounts of these States, and the words "Government account" will be placed next to the image.
It's worth noting that the new design will not affect the accounts of all political figures, but only those involved in international relations, such as foreign Ministers and ambassadors. Moreover, the personal accounts of the heads of state will not be marked, since these accounts are widely known, receive attention from the media, and the General public is well aware of them.
State media accounts will also receive badges with the words "State media" next to them. The captions will appear both in the account name and in individual posts of this account on Twitter. However, such registration will only appear in those media outlets "where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressure, and/or control over the production and distribution" of information.
The Twitter blog notes that these accounts do not include accounts of state-funded media outlets that have editorial independence. For example, the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC is not included in the list of accounts to which the new design will be applied.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter has not published a full list of state media outlets. At the same time, a representative of the social network confirmed that it includes the Russian TV channel RT (Russia Today), the Russian Agency Sputnik, and the Chinese agency Xinhua.
Twitter is a platform where heads of state and other high-ranking officials publish official statements. The company already uses a verification system to verify the authenticity of high-level user account data, but these verification icons, blue ticks, do not carry information about who exactly the account owner is.