1 min read.Updated: 12 Feb 2021, 11:08 AM IST Edited By Staff Writer
The move comes as Twitter's approach to prominent figures and government is under scrutiny after the high-profile ban of former US President Donald Trump's account and as political firestorms have raged in Myanmar and India
Twitter Inc said on Thursday it will next week add labels to identify more state-affiliated accounts, including world leaders' personal accounts, to give users more context for geopolitical conversations on the platform.
In August, Twitter said it would start labeling the accounts of state-affiliated media outlets such as Russia's Sputnik and China's Xinhua News and of some key government officials for the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Twitter said in a blog post that it was expanding its labels to key government officials and institutions that were "the voice of the nation state abroad" from G7 countries and a majority of countries where Twitter has identified what it deems state-linked information operations.
Mock-ups of the labels shared by Twitter said "US Government organization" or "US Government official."
Asked how Twitter would determine government labels in situations such as Myanmar where the military recently seized power in a coup, Twitter's global public policy director, Nick Pickles, said the company was not labeling countries where government was in dispute.
"We will take into account the international discussion about legitimacy of the government when we are considering if it's appropriate to apply these labels," Pickles said in an interview.
The labels will only be added to verified accounts, Pickles said. For example, in Iran that would mean that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would not currently get a label because he is not verified, though the foreign minister would.