Twitter is bringing new labels for the accounts belonging to government officials and state-affiliated media for five countries

Twitter has recently announced in a blog post that it is bringing a new update. It is going to provide labels to government officials and state-affiliated media and representatives. As per Twitter, this is a fresh and new perspective to add a way to connect with and directly communicate with the ‘higher-ups’ of any government and the influential representatives belonging to the state-owned and, affiliated media.

Twitter says that this will help to democratize the political conversations and it will also bring more transparency and a sense of accountability to the higher officials and their media representatives. By providing this kind of political reach, Twitter is paving a path for the users to feel that they have some control over various issues going on in the world and that their voice can also reach the higher officials of their governments.

Many times, various people from the government voice their thoughts about a state-level issue in tweets, and people following them think that it is authentic news and they not only consider it as an official word, but they also share it and make it viral amongst their peers. Later, when the government officially announces something about that issue, people mistakenly think that the government changed its stance since they had thought that the earlier tweet by someone from the government was already official.

So, to avoid such confusion, Twitter is providing these labels to selective people only. Foreign ministers, institutional entities, official spokespersons, ambassadors, and some other major diplomatic leaders- in short only those people who are considered as the ‘official voice of the state abroad’ will be given these labels by Twitter. The heads of the states will not get any label because their accounts are usually very popular and widely followed. Also, they already get a lot of media attention, so they will not receive labels from Twitter.

For media, Twitter says that it will not label the media organizations that exercise their own editorial independence, regardless of whether they are funded by their government or not. Twitter will only provide labels to the media bodies and organizations whose editorial content is controlled by the state, who are dependent on the financial resources that the government provides, and who may face direct or indirect political pressures with controls over production and distribution of the content.

Currently, Twitter is seeking help from outside experts like the Digital and Human Rights Advisory Group, which is a part of Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council, to identify such state-affiliated and owned media organizations.

These labels will be available for the five countries that are a part of the United Nations Security Council and include China, Russia, France, the US, and the UK. Twitter plans to extend this feature to other countries in the future too.



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