Twitter said Tuesday it would not recommend Russian government accounts to users as part of a rule change restricting access to the open Internet and affecting accounts operated by states involved in armed interstate conflicts.
The social media agency also said it would now have to remove posts depicting prisoners of war posted by government or state-affiliated media accounts. The Ukrainian government has posted content featuring prisoners of war on social media in recent weeks.
Russia has been battling major technology companies to control the flow of information since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin has called the move a “special military operation” in Ukraine Moscow has slowed down its services, blocked access to Twitter and banned Meter Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter said in a blog post, “When a government blocks or restricts access to online services in their state, reduces the public’s voice and ability to access information freely, but continues to use online services for their own communication, a serious data imbalance is created.” , “Twitter said in a blog post. Post
The agency said that its new policy of not expanding accounts would apply to whether Twitter itself had been blocked and that it would first apply the policy to Russian government accounts.
It said that under the new rules it would not extend or recommend users’ home timelines or media accounts authorized by the Russian government or the state, including search or discovery functions. A spokesman said it would affect more than 300 Russian government accounts.
The agency added that the government or state-approved media accounts would be required to remove any media outlets that feature any media outlets featuring prisoners of war. It said where there was a “necessary public interest” in accessing the content, such as for evidentiary purposes, it would instead add a warning to tweets.
During the conflict, the Ukrainian government’s social media accounts posted videos showing Russian prisoners of war answering questions or making home phone calls. When asked about the posts in a call to reporters, Joel Roth, head of Twitter’s site Integrity, said such tweets would be subject to the new rules, but that the policy would not apply in the first place.
“We do not want Twitter to be used by state actors to violate international humanitarian law, and to the best of our ability, we want to discourage governments from engaging in such behavior,” Roth said, citing the Geneva Convention. Protects prisoners of war against.
Twitter also said it would need to remove any user-posted tweets, including prisoner-of-war content shared with offensive intent.
Thomson Reuters 2022