Twitter is working to expand their use of labels in identifying official government accounts and state-affiliated media in attempts to boost transparency. Twitter has also announced they will be expanding to 16 new countries with “state-linked information operations.”
The social media guru has been under harsh scrutiny to combat misinformation and clarify their policies on policing accounts. This conversation has become much more prominent after former U.S. President Donald Trump’s permanent ban on the platform.
According to Twitter, unverified accounts will not be affected. This includes the very controversial topic that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei uses despite a ban on Twitter in his country. This could undermine the new policy’s effectiveness.
This change is not about combating disinformation from state-backed accounts. Twitter has instead implemented policies on not spreading false or misleading information, according to Nick Pickles, Twitter’s global director of public policy strategy and development. Pickles said this shall be enforced equally across all accounts and evident in the removal of thousands of fake accounts in recent years.
“Our primary motivation is to give people on Twitter, wherever in the world they are, more context about the tweets they’re seeing, rather than about changing the way governments behave,” Pickles stated in an interview. “These labels aren’t punitive. They don’t limit the visibility of tweets. They don’t affect how people see these tweets. It’s just additional context to apply to tweets.”