In a new wave of soft censorship, Twitter began flagging media accounts as affiliated to specific governments.
This, however, only relates to specific media – that originating in China and Russia.
Specifically, there was a need to say that an outlet named “Russia Today” is Russian-affiliated media, as it if it wasn’t obviously.
That's new. The 'R' stands for Russia?!
P.S. Follow us to see what the US state-affiliated media doesn't show you pic.twitter.com/RxriP09dfj
— RT (@RT_com) August 6, 2020
The same goes for Sputnik, and it was never a secret that they’re both Russian-state sponsored media.
Twitter also made sure that every single post will remind any would-be readers that this is Russian-state affiliated media, since it is stuck to it.
The same goes for Chinese outlets.
Somehow, Iranian and Venezuelan outlets appear to have avoided this treatment as of August 7th, 2020.
Additionally, other outlets that aren’t flagged as state-sponsored are: Radio Free Liberty, Voice of America, any other US and UK state-sponsored media.
“When it comes to conversations with government and state-affiliated media accounts on Twitter, we’re helping to make the experience more transparent.
We’ll now use two distinct profile labels for these types of accounts, so you can easily identify them and their Tweets,” Twitter’s official statement said.
Furthermore, state media can’t advertise on Twitter.
“For clarity: we don’t let state-affiliated media accounts advertise on Twitter. We’ll also no longer include them or their Tweets in recommendations, as we continue to support a free and independent press”
For clarity: we don't let state-affiliated media accounts advertise on Twitter. We’ll also no longer include them or their Tweets in recommendations, as we continue to support a free and independent press.
More on this policy and new labels: https://t.co/BY1jTO46Zc (2/2)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) August 6, 2020
Currently, labels appear on relevant Twitter accounts from the five countries that comprise the permanent membership of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) that are:
- Government accounts heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy
- State-affiliated media entities
- Individuals, such as editors or high-profile journalists, associated with state-affiliated media entities
Somehow, however, AFP, BBC, VOA, Radio Free Liberty and so on appear to not be tagged, despite fulfilling all 3 of the above conditions.
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