Twitter to add more labels identifying world leaders, state-affiliated accounts

By: |
February 12, 2021 1:47 PM

Demonstrations of the labels shared by the company said, "US Government official" or "US Government organization."

twitter labelTwitter will also label the UN Security Council permanent members and the personal accounts of heads of state from these countries.

Twitter has announced that it will add more labels to identify more world leaders and state-affiliated accounts. The microblogging site said that it will allow the platform to give users more context for geopolitical conversations. The development comes at a time when Twitter is under scrutiny for its approach towards prominent figures and government after it ‘permanently suspended’ account of former US President Donald Trump and as political firestorms have raged in India and Myanmar.

Twitter had announced in August that it would start labelling accounts of key government officials and state-affiliated media outlets such as China’s Xinhua News and Russia’s Sputnik. Among the key government officials will be the five permanent members of the UNSC – France, China, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Twitter, in a blog post, said that it was expanding labels to those who were ‘the voice of the nation-state abroad.’ The government officials and institutions being labelled include those from G7 countries and other countries where the social media has identified what the company deems state-linked information operations.

Demonstrations of the labels shared by the company said, “US Government official” or “US Government organization.”

When asked to comment on how it would determine government labels in countries like Myanmar where the military recently carried out a coup and seized power, Twitter’s global public policy director Nick Pickles said they would not label countries where the government was in dispute.

International discussion about the legitimacy of the government will be taken into account while considering if it is appropriate to apply the label in those countries, Pickles told Reuters. Pickles added that the labels would be added only to verified accounts.

Canada, Egypt, Cuba, Germany, Ecuador, Iran, Honduras, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates are among the new countries where senior officials and institutions will be labeled.

Twitter will also label the UN Security Council permanent members and the personal accounts of heads of state from these countries.

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