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Twitter drops ‘state-affiliated’ tags for media accounts

Twitter drops 'state-affiliated' tags for media accounts
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Twitter has dropped “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” labels from media accounts, according to a review by AFP on Friday of many high-profile pages on the platform.

Many major media outlets from Western nations, Russia, China and other countries that previously had either of those tags no longer displayed them, according to AFP.

They included the accounts of National Public Radio in the United States, China’s official Xinhua news agency, RT from Russia, and Canada’s CBC, as of 0600 GMT.

Twitter, acquired by the mercurial billionaire Elon Musk last year, had long labelled accounts linked to state media or government officials, especially from China and Russia.

It said that policy focused on entities that “are the official voice of the nation-state abroad”.

Recently, however, the labels were applied to news organisations that received public funding but were not controlled by any governments.

NPR stopped using Twitter thereafter, and CBC followed suit.

Radio New Zealand also threatened to leave Twitter this week over the “government-funded” label, while Sweden’s public Sveriges Radio said it would stop tweeting.

But all the tags were gone as of Friday.

The change appeared soon after Twitter began the mass removal of its blue ticks on Thursday, a symbol that previously signified a verified account.

Musk, who has seen his $44 billion investment in the platform shrivel, changed the system to allow anyone who pays $8 a month to get the badge.

Musk’s tumultuous ownership of Twitter has seen thousands of staff made redundant and advertisers fleeing the platform.

Users have complained that hate speech and misinformation have proliferated, and accounts with extreme views are gaining traction due to less content moderation.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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