Beginning next week, Twitter plans to label government-run Twitter accounts as well as the personal accounts of heads of state as part of the latest expansion of its policy on government-affiliated accounts. The company claims its goal is “a more informed experience on Twitter.”
Gizmodo reports that next week Twitter will begin adding labels to government-run accounts and the personal accounts of heads of state. The company states in a recent blog post that this latest update to Twitter’s policy on government-affiliated accounts is designed to add additional context that should help users “have a more informed experience on Twitter.”
Twitter first announced plans to label the accounts of key government officials and state-affiliated media entities in August. The company said at the time that the personal accounts of government officials would be exempt from labeling “as these accounts enjoy widespread name recognition, media attention, and public awareness.” But now after Twitter has received “feedback” from stakeholders, the company has reversed this decision.
Twitter stated in the blog post:
Our mission is to serve the public conversation and an important part of that work is providing people with context so they can make informed decisions about what they see and how they engage on Twitter. Twitter provides an unmatched way to connect with and directly speak to public officials and representatives.
To continue to help you identify governmental officials and institutions on Twitter, we’re expanding our policy to label these accounts in more countries.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 11, 2021
The platform also plans to update the labels it applied to accounts so that users can tell immediately if a tweet is from a government official or an institution. Twitter will also be labeling government-affiliated accounts linked to16 other countries.
In August, the company stated that it only planned to label accounts from China, France, Russia the United Kingdom, and the United States. Now it has added Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates to the list.
Twitter plans to apply additional labels to state-affiliated media account in the next few months. Previously the company announced plans to stop promoting accounts where a state-run body “exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.” However, government-funded news outlets such as NPR in America or the BBC in the UK will be exempt from this.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org</strong