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About government and state-affiliated media account labels on Twitter

China blocks access to Twitter for regular users. We believe that people benefit from additional context when interacting with Chinese government and state-affiliated accounts.

Labels on state-affiliated media accounts provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities and individuals closely associated with those entities. 

The label appears on the profile page of the relevant Twitter account and on the Tweets sent by and shared from these accounts. Labels contain information about the country the account is affiliated with and whether it is operated by a government representative or state-affiliated media entity. 

Additionally, these labels include a small icon of a flag to signal the account’s status as a government account and of a podium for state-affiliated media. 

How government accounts are defined
Our focus is on senior officials and entities that are the official voice of the nation state abroad, specifically accounts of key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders. Where accounts are used solely for personal use and do not play a role as a  geopolitical or official Government communication channel, we will not label the account.  

How state-affiliated media accounts are defined
State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff may be labeled.

State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy.

 

US government account
US state-affiliated media

Which accounts currently have a label?

Currently, labels appear on relevant Twitter accounts from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates that are:

  • Government accounts heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy
  • State-affiliated media entities
  • Individuals, such as editors or high-profile journalists, associated with state-affiliated media entities 

This policy will be expanded to include additional countries in the future. 

Additionally, labels will distinguish between individual government accounts and institutional government accounts.

Do these labels limit functionality? 

In the case of state-affiliated media entities, Twitter will not recommend or amplify accounts or their Tweets with these labels to people. 

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