Twitter has announced that it will start labeling state-affiliated media accounts and that of their senior staff. Accounts of key government officials like ambassadors will also be labelled in a similar manner.
The social media platform made the announcement on its blog. Twitter says it’s doing this so that when one of these accounts join in geopolitical discussions online, others get context for the arguments they make. This can be very useful indeed, for reasons that should be obvious,
On the flip side though, this labeling is being done in a very limited scale for now. Twitter says that the labels will only apply to five permanent members of the UN Security Council. These are China, France, Russia, the UK and the US.
The company also makes a few clarifications as to which accounts exactly will be labelled. To start a head of state’s personal account will not be labelled. Media outlets that are state-financed but still retain editorial independence will not be labeled. A good example of the latter is the BBC in the UK.
Labeled accounts will also be notified of the fact, which they can then appeal if they’re not actually state-affiliated media. Though it will be strange if the correctly labelled outlets start making appeals.