Twitter to begin labeling 'state affiliated' outlets

Twitter to begin labeling 'state affiliated' outlets
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Twitter announced Thursday it is rolling out two new categories of labels to improve transparency on the platform: government accounts and state-affiliated media entities.

The first category will include high-ranking government officials like official spokespeople, foreign ministers and ambassadors.

The platform will be focused on officials who represent countries abroad and will start applying the labels to accounts of members of the United Nations Security Council: China, the U.S., Russia, France and the United Kingdom.


When users visit the selected accounts, they will see a label under the account username indicating the person's position.

Twitter is also rolling out similar labels for state-affiliated media, which the company defines as "where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution."

The platform will also limit the reach of those outlets, removing their posts from the recommendations system, notifications and search.

The decision to label state-affiliated media accounts follows a similar one by Facebook. 

Facebook's policy, announced last October, was immediately criticized by Al Jazeera, which is privately owned but has a member of the Qatari royal family as the chair of its board.

Al Jazeera was ultimately not labeled on Facebook when the platform instituted the policy in June.


Twitter is beginning its labeling policy with the previously mentioned security council countries. 

It is not clear if Al Jazeera will ultimately be labeled on the platform.

-Updated at 12:40