In August 2020, Twitter announced that it would be adding two more criteria for labeling a Twitter account. It started marking accounts of key government officials and state-backed media outlets, and senior employees associated with such agencies. It rolled out the update in five countries – China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Now, things are expanding. Twitter has announced that it is expanding its government account labels in 16 more countries. Twitter’s efforts will now expand to Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the company, it is expanding the labels based on countries that are part of the G7, as well as “countries that Twitter has attributed state-linked information operations to.”
These labels will indicate when a government official or organization runs an account. It goes into effect next week. Users whose accounts are labeled will be notified, and they can also request a correction if there are any mistakes.
“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,” wrote Twitter in a blog post.
The full scope of Twitter labeling accounts is:
- Key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and vital diplomatic leaders. At this time, our focus is on senior officials and entities who are the official voice of the state abroad.
- State-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and their senior staff.