Twitter will label representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. It concerns ministers, institutes, ambassadors, spokespersons, diplomatic leaders and senior employees of state media, the company announced on Thursday at its blog.
Accounts of tagged profiles are no longer recommended as a follower suggestion by Twitter’s algorithms. Also, the tweets are no longer placed in the timeline by an algorithm of users who do not follow that account.
With the labels, Twitter wants to make it clear that the profiles are high-ranking individuals and organizations that represent “the official voice of the state abroad.” Heads of State personal accounts are not currently labeled due to their brand awareness.
Initially, only accounts affiliated with the governments of the five permanent members of the Security Council will be labeled: the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France. In the future, Twitter wants to expand the number of countries.
Twitter calls labeling an “important step that gives people context about what connection to a state has an account that discusses geopolitical issues.”
As for state media and their editors-in-chief, Twitter looks at whether the government in that country directly or indirectly influences the journalistic content of the medium. Media that do receive financial support, but are independent, such as the BBC in the UK, are not labeled.
The labels – a flag for individuals and a desk with microphone for state media – are visible on the profile pages and tweets sent or retweeted by the account.