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Russian Foreign Ministry urges Twitter to label Western media outlets as state-affiliated

Twitter announced on Thursday that it would add new labels to the accounts of government officials and state-controlled media outlets

MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. Twitter needs to label Deutsche Welle, BBC World News and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as state-affiliated media, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Twitter on Friday, commenting on the social network’s decision to label the accounts of state-controlled media outlets.

"We realize that labelling media accounts as 'government affiliated' is a tough job. There are so many of them. While some Russian outlets have been given the tag, other state-owned media still do not enjoy the privilege. So here are some hints," the tweet reads.

The ministry posted screenshots showing that the RT news outlet had been labeled on Twitter as "Russia state-affiliated media," while the accounts of Deutsche Welle, BBC World News and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty did not have such a mark. Screenshots from the official websites of those media outlets, posted by the ministry, make it clear that they are funded by the state.

Twitter announced on Thursday that it would add new labels to the accounts of government officials and state-controlled media outlets. According to a Twitter blog post, new labels will be added to the "accounts of key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders." "At this time, our focus is on senior officials and entities who are the official voice of the state abroad," Twitter added. New labels will also mark "accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff."

However, "state-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, will not be labeled," Twitter pointed out.