SOCIAL MEDIA | Twitter Labels State Media, Government Officials’ Account

MILAN – Twitter Inc. will label the accounts of state-affiliated media outlets, their senior staff and some key government official, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

The accounts of Russia’s Sputnik, RT, and China’s Xinhua News are among the media organizations that will be labeled, according to a Twitter spokesman. He declined to provide a full list of entities.

‘We believe that people have right to know when a media account is affiliated directly or indirectly with a state actor’, Twitter said in its blog. It will also stop amplifying these accounts of their tweets through its recommendation systems.

The social media company defined state-affiliated media as those where the state exercises editorial control through financial resources or political pressure, or control over production and distribution.

Twitter said that state-financed media outlets with editorial independence, such as National Public Radio in the United States, or the BBC in the United Kingdom, would not be labeled. A spokesman also confirmed there were no U.S. media outlets on the list.

NPR receives minimal government funding.

Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter: ‘They think they can set the rules of the game! This is an illusion. Such clear double standards backfire and undermine credibility of Western media, with ‘state-affiliate’ labels or without. People can’t find truth and facts there anymore’.

Twitter said it was focusing its government officials labels on senior officials and entities that represent the voice of the state abroad, such as foreign ministers, official spokespeople and institutional entities. Labeled accounts will include @White House, @StateDep, @Elysee, @10DowningStreet and @KremlinRussia.

The labels will at first be applied only to the officials from countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States. Twitter said the personal accounts of head of states will not be labeled as there is public awareness of those individuals.

Twitter currently labels the accounts of candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate or governor during the 2020 election cycle.

Facebook Inc. also said in June that it would start labeling state-controlled media organizations. In 2019, Twitter banned state-backed media advertising.


BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

JEDDAH – – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five – year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

PARIS – – France’s top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second Covid-19 vaccination to six weeks from three  in order to increase the number getting inoculated . The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

Police detained more than 350 people across Russia on Saturday and broke up rallies around the country as protesters defied bitter cold and a ban by authorities to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny had called on his supporter to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Moscow … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

WASHINGTON – – The United Arab Emirates confirmed that it signed agreements with the United States on former President Donald Trump’s last full day in office to purchase up to 50 F-35 jets, 18 armed drones and other defense equipment in a deal worth $23 billion. The UAE embassy in Washington said in a statement … Continue reading BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over its capital, Riyadh, amid the kingdom’s yearlong war against neighbouring Yemen’s Houthi rebels.Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. Saudi State TV quoted authorities in the kingdom acknowledging the … Continue reading Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

 DUBAI – Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday. The development, which comes amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct challenge to the mass … Continue reading TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

PARIS – – Google and a French publishers’ lobby said on Thursday they had agreed to a copyright framework for the U.S. tech giant to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.The move paves the way for individual licensing agreements for French publications, some of which have seen revenues drop with … Continue reading BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

MILAN – European countries should use all available vaccine doses provided by biotech firm BioNTech and its partner Pfizer because there will be enough for the requisite second booster shot due to a planned production ramp – up, BioNTech’s largest investor said. Some countries were believed to be withholding some vaccines for fear of shortage … Continue reading Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

ATHENS – – Lebanon handed back two 18th – century religious icons of Jesus and Mary to Greece on Tuesday after they were seized during an auction, a judicial sources said. The paintings were stole from an exhibition in Athens in 2016, and Greece put out an international notice calling for their return. Icons are … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

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