Twitter Begins Labeling "State-Affiliated Media" Accounts, Will Stop Amplifying Them

RT Twitter Account - Publicity - H 2020

Among the accounts to be labeled are Russian media companies RT and Sputnik as well as China's Xinhua News, People's Daily, CGTN and Global Times.

Twitter has started labeling the accounts of "state-affiliated media" companies and has committed itself to stop amplifying their tweets via its recommendation system, notifications and search function on its site. 

Among the accounts to be labeled as "state-affiliated media" are Russian media companies RT and Sputnik and Chinese companies Xinhua News, People's Daily, CGTN and Global Times. Many of these accounts have been accused of spreading state-linked propaganda and disinformation on the platform. 

In a press release posted on Thursday, the social media giant said its "mission was to serve the public conversation and an important part of that work is providing people with context so they can make informed decisions about what they see and how they engage on Twitter." In order to do that, the company added that it was taking "steps to protect that discourse because we believe political reach should be earned not bought."

Twitter will add new labels to accounts "belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff." The account of Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin is among the personal accounts that have been labeled. 

The company will also label the accounts of "key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders. At this time, our focus is on senior officials and entities who are the official voice of the state abroad."

In addition to the labels, Twitter said it will "no longer amplify state-affiliated media accounts or their Tweets through our recommendation systems including on the home timeline, notifications, and search."  

Twitter's latest move comes on the heels of the company banning political advertising and state-backed advertising on its platform.