- Twitter is adding new labels to the profiles of government officials and state-affiliated media to provide more context to users on the platform on the authors of tweets that are circulated.
- The labels impact the accounts of US officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but do not affect personal accounts of heads of state such as that of President Donald Trump.
- The move comes in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election and as social media companies continue to combat misinformation on their platforms.
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If you click on the Twitter profile of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, you'll notice a tiny grey flag under his name with a banner reading "US government account."
In a company blog post, Twitter said it will add new labels to the accounts of key government officials, including Pompeo, as well as foreign ministers, key diplomatic leaders, official spokespeople, and institutional entities.
-Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 5, 2020
Labels will also be added to the profiles of state-affiliated media entities, such as China's Xinhua News and Russia's RT, as BBC notes. The company will no longer promote state-affiliated media accounts through its recommendation systems, like on its home timelines.
However, it won't affect the personal accounts of heads of state, such as President Donald Trump. His account @realdonaldtrump does not have a label while his official account, @POTUS, does. Twitter said it's not labeling the personal accounts since "these accounts enjoy widespread name recognition, media attention, and public awareness."
By clicking on the banners, users will be redirected to a page explaining the policy. Twitter has already had labels placed on the profiles of candidates and elected officials.
Twitter's new labels come as the 2020 US presidential election draws closer and as social media companies continue to combat misinformation on their platforms.
The company said it has plans to eventually expand the labels to more countries in the future.
"We believe this is an important step so that when people see an account discussing geopolitical issues from another country, they have context on its national affiliation and are better informed about who they represent," Twitter said in the blog post.