Twitter has created labels for profiles belonging to government officials and state-run media entities to ensure that political reach is “earned not bought.”
The social networking platform said in a blog post Thursday that the labels are meant to give users greater context regarding a profile’s political affiliation.
“We believe this is an important step so that when people see an account discussing geopolitical issues from another country, they have context on its national affiliation and are better informed about who they represent,” Twitter said.
The new feature comes in the form of a gray icon and wording on the user’s profile. Twitter will start by focusing on senior political officials who speak for their states. This includes foreign ministers, ambassadors, official spokespeople and key diplomatic leaders.
Accounts belonging to state-backed media organizations along with related editors and senior staffers will also be labeled.
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“Unlike independent media, state-affiliated media frequently use their news coverage as a means to advance a political agenda,” the platform said. “We believe that people have the right to know when a media account is affiliated directly or indirectly with a state actor.”
The move by the social networking website was deemed a step in the right direction by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
“I appreciate that Twitter is a platform that‘s at least *trying* to stop disinformation, verifying news outlets, etc. Stopping misinformation isn’t abt sitting around for years debating ideas. It’s about testing tactics, trying ideas, etc to find what’s effective,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
She and others have previously criticized Facebook for not doing enough to fight political misinformation on its platform.
Twitter’s new labels come on the heels of other attempts to regulate how political figures use the app. Most recently, Twitter began placing disclaimers on some tweets from President Donald Trump and other world leaders who violate community guidelines.
In 2019, it banned state-backed media advertising and political advertising.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.
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