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Twitter announces new labels for government, state-affiliated media accounts

For the time being, this will be applicable only to five countries

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NEW DELHI: Twitter has announced that the micro-blogging site has started labelling accounts of government officials and state-affiliated media.

The blog read that it will focus on labelling ‘Senior officials and entities who are the official voice of the state abroad.’

For the time being, this will be applicable only to accounts from China, Russia, France, United Kingdom and the United States -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The blog further emphasised that this new feature is for transparency and practicality, Twitter is starting with a limited and clearly-defined group of countries before expanding to a wider range of countries in the future. “At this time, we're not labeling the personal accounts of heads of state, as these accounts enjoy widespread name recognition, media attention, and public awareness. Institutional accounts associated with their offices that changeover depending on election results will be labeled, however.”

“We believe that people have the right to know when a media account is affiliated directly or indirectly with a state actor. As part of the development of this process, we consulted with a number of expert groups, including members of the Digital and Human Rights Advisory group in Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council,” the blog post said.

Twitter will no longer amplify state-affiliated media accounts or their tweets through recommendation systems including on the home timeline, notifications, and search.

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