On Thursday, Twitter announced that it would introduce new labels to designate accounts that are run by government officials or are representing state-controlled media outlets and their senior staff. The labels will initially be added to officials representing the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, China, France, the UK and the US. Personal accounts of heads of state will not be labeled.
Regarding the accounts of state-controlled media outlets, Twitter said that media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, would not be labeled.
The microblogging site has already added a special label, dubbed "government account, Russia" to the accounts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev. Similar labels have also been added to the Twitter accounts of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Permanent Russian Mission to the United Nations.
Accounts linked to Rossiya Segodnya, the Russian media conglomerate that includes Sputnik, have already been flagged as "Russia state-affiliated media."
On Thursday evening, Rossiya Segodnya’s press department said that it is waiting for the accounts of state-run media agencies from other countries, such as the UK’s BBC, to receive the label in order to avoid double standards.