Twitter to Label Tweets Linking to Russian State Media


Twitter will put warnings on tweets sharing links to Russian state-affiliated media, the platform said Monday, as Kremlin-tied outlets are accused of spreading misinformation on Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pressure is on social media giants to squelch misleading or false information about the attack, which has drawn fierce international condemnation.

Kremlin-run media outlets RT and Sputnik have both faced accusations of using false narratives in an effort to argue in favor of war.

READRussia vs Ukraine – The War in Cyberspace ]

Twitter’s head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, wrote that the platform has been seeing more than 45,000 tweets per day that are sharing links to state-affiliated media outlets.

“Our product should make it easy to understand who’s behind the content you see, and what their motivations and intentions are,” he added.

In addition to adding labels that identify the sources of links, Roth said the platform is also “taking steps to significantly reduce the circulation of this content on Twitter.” 

[ READ: Russia, Ukraine and the Danger of a Global Cyberwar ]

The announcement came the day after Facebook’s parent Meta said pro-Russia groups were orchestrating misinformation campaigns on social media, using fake profiles or hacked accounts to paint Ukraine as a feeble pawn of Western duplicity.

The cyber security team at the tech giant — also parent to Instagram — said it blocked a set of Russia-linked fake accounts that were part of a social media scheme to undermine Ukraine.

The small network of Facebook and Instagram accounts targeted people in Ukraine, using posts to try to get people to visit websites featuring bogus news about the country’s effort to defend itself from the invasion by Russia.

Twitter and Facebook have both been hit with access restrictions in Russia since the invasion and are now “largely unusable”, said web monitoring group NetBlocks.

Social media networks have become one of the fronts in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, home to sometimes misleading information but also real-time monitoring of a quickly developing conflict that marks Europe’s biggest geopolitical crisis in decades.

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© AFP 2022

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