Twitter Will Label Tweets Linking To Russian State-Backed Media Like RT And Sputnik

Twitter Will Label Tweets Linking To Russian State-Backed Media Like RT And Sputnik

by Adam

Topline

Twitter declared Monday that it will limit reach for tweets linking Russian-affiliated news sites. It was hours after the European Union had announced its intention to ban Russian-funded outlets RT, Sputnik and other state-supported media sources.

Here are some key facts

The new label will only users to “stay informed,” and appear on tweets that share information from Russian state-affiliated media accounts—but will not appear on tweets from those accounts because they are already labeled with “Russia state-affiliated encourage media, Twitter said.

Tweets sharing Russian state media content will not be recommended by Twitter and will be blocked from appearing on Twitter’s “Top Search” function.

Most Russian state media content on Twitter is being spread through individual sharing and not directly from those media outlets’ accounts, meaning most people were seeing that content without visible labels, Twitter said.

Twitter reports that more than 45,000 Twitter users have posted links to Russian media since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday.

Twitter stated that it will apply the same measures to other state media in the next weeks.

The Key Background

2017 Twitter bannedAdvertising from RT, and Sputnik were found to have been influenced by US intelligence. 2018: The platform extendedThis ban applies to advertising in state media. In August 2020, Twitter began labeling and “de-amplifying” state-affiliated accounts from Russia, China, the UK, the US and some other countries. In the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both Twitter and Facebook were reportedly restricted in Russia after the Russian government denounced Facebook’s fact-checking mechanisms as “censorship.” As well as Sputnik and RT, two of the most internationally known Russian state media outlets, Facebook has targeted Russia’s RIA Novosti, Zvezda TV network, Gazeta.Ru and Lenta.ru. Friday, US Thursday, the US

Important Quote

“As this conflict continues, we can expect to see an escalation in Russia’s use of both overt and covert means to sow confusion about the conflict and promote disinformation narratives that weaken the global response to these illegal acts,” Warner said.

Contra

Twitter was launched in May 2020. added Warning labels to posts including “disputed or misleading” claims about Covid-19—including, during the election, to posts by President Donald Trump. (Twitter eventually banned Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” following the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots.) Twitter is yet to establish a comparable system for postings about the Ukraine crisis.

Tangent

Twitter does not classify accounts as news outlets that are subject to direct or indirect editorial control. However, Twitter considers state-funded outlets as being editorially independent such as NPR and the BBC.

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“US Senator Mark Warner Urges Tech Companies To Fight Russian Propaganda In Ukraine—Russian Officials Punish Those That Do” (SME)

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