Info-tech

Twitter expands policy to label accounts of govt officials, institutions to more countries

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 12, 2021

‘We’re updating the label text to add more specificity to govt account labels by differentiating between individuals and institutions and expanding labels to the personal accounts of heads of state to give people on Twitter additional context’

Twitter is expanding its policy to label accounts of government officials and institutions to 16 more countries.

“To continue to help you identify governmental officials and institutions on Twitter, we’re expanding our policy to label these accounts in more countries. Next week, you’ll start to see new profile labels on government accounts in 16 other countries,” Twitter wrote from its official Twitter Support account.

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The microblogging platform expanded account labels to additional categories related to government officials and institutions In August 2020. The platform had said that it will start labelling the accounts of key government officials and those belonging to state-affiliated media entities.

Initially, the policy was implemented for accounts from countries represented in the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It will now expand the policy to more countries from February 17.

“After receiving feedback on this initial action from a range of stakeholders — including civil society, academia, and those who use our service — on Wednesday, February 17, we will expand these labels to accounts from Group of Seven (G7) countries, and to a majority of countries that Twitter has attributed state-linked information operations to,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Phase one countries where the policy was implemented include China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States. The expanded policy will cover Phase two countries that are Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

The social media major will add labels verified 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,” Twitter said.

It will also label the personal accounts of heads of state, from Phase one and Phase two countries.

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“We’re also updating the label text to add more specificity to the government account labels by differentiating between individuals and institutions and expanding labels to the personal accounts of heads of state to give people on Twitter additional context,” it said.

“As the next phase of this project, we will work to apply additional labels on state-affiliated media accounts over the next several months, taking an iterative approach to ensure we capture all relevant accounts,” it added.

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Published on February 12, 2021
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