Twitter will now label government and state-affiliated media accounts


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

To help its users identify state-affiliated media accounts, Twitter said it’s now adding a label that’ll appear on the profile page of those and government-affiliated accounts, and on the tweets sent and shared by such accounts. Twitter said Thursday that it’s already using the labels for accounts associated with China, France, Russia, Britain and the US, and that it intends to expand the labels to other countries over time.

The goal is to provide people with context so they can make informed decisions about what they see and how they engage, Twitter said. 

The labels will show which country the account is affiliated with and whether the account is operated by a government representative or state-affiliated media entity. Twitter will use a small icon of a flag to signal a government account and of a podium for state-affiliated media.


Twitter is now labeling government accounts with a flag.


Among those who’ll get government labels are foreign ministers, ambassadors, official spokespeople and key diplomatic leaders. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief and their senior staff will display a podium icon. As part of the effort, Twitter said it won’t amplify state-affiliated media accounts or their tweets through its recommendation systems, including on its home timeline and through notifications and search.

The labels are the latest move by Twitter to corral misinformation. The company largely banned political ads last year, heading into this year’s November elections. Facebook earlier this summer also took the step of labeling posts by state-controlled media.

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