Twitter will set up labels and limit the spread of posts by Belarus’s state media and their senior staff, the agency said on Thursday, in a move aimed at preventing misinformation from Russia’s allies in its attack on Ukraine.
In recent years, social media services, including Twitter, have begun labeling the accounts of state broadcasters and news websites to indicate that the companies are government-backed. Accounts labeled and their posts on Twitter are limited to search results and recommendations.
Joel Roth, head of Twitter’s site Integrity, told reporters that the company would label about 15 Belarusian outlets, including Belta, the largest news agency with a service of about 37,000 followers.
“We have seen evidence that these outlets and their affiliates in Russia are engaged in information warfare and are employing the media and other resources to control the spread of favorable information and to confuse and confuse the public about what is happening.” Roth Dr.
Broadcasting Beltaleradio and radio stations are subject to government-developed “editorial points” sharing, he said. BelTa and Belteleradio did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Belarus served as one of Russia’s launchpads to attack Ukraine last month. Russia has called its move in Ukraine a “special operation.”
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko told his defense ministry on Thursday that it must resist any attempt to shut down Russian supply lines and “hit the Russians from behind,” according to Belta.
Twitter’s policy is to label only state-affiliated media “where the state controls editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressure, and / or control over production and distribution.”
It labeled media in more than 20 major countries, including plans for global expansion. “Belarus was given priority in the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” Roth said. Government and trade sanctions on Belarus have multiplied.
The European Union last week effectively banned 70 percent of all imports from Belarus, and American Express and Dassault Systems are among the companies suspending business there.
World Athletics had earlier banned Belarus from hosting the event after barring its athletes.
Thomson Reuters 2022