Media technology

Twitter to label tweets related to Russian state media


Published on March 01, 2022 08:19

Social networks have become one of the fronts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Twitter will issue warnings about tweets sharing links to Russian state-affiliated media, the platform said, as Kremlin-linked outlets are accused of spreading misinformation about Russia’s invasion. Ukraine via Moscow.

Pressure is being put on social media giants to stifle misleading or false reports about the attack, which has drawn fierce international condemnation.

Kremlin-run media outlets RT and Sputnik have both been accused of using false narratives in an attempt to argue for war.

Twitter’s site integrity manager, Yoel Roth, wrote that the platform saw more than 45,000 tweets a day that shared links to state-affiliated media.

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

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

The announcement came a day after Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said pro-Russian groups were mounting disinformation campaigns on social media, using fake profiles or hacked accounts to portray Ukraine as a weak pawn of Western duplicity.

The tech giant’s cybersecurity team – also a parent of Instagram – said it blocked a set of fake Russian-linked accounts that were part of a social media scheme aimed at undermining Ukraine.

The small network of Facebook and Instagram accounts targeted people in Ukraine, using posts to try to trick people into visiting websites containing fake news about the country’s efforts to defend itself against the Russian invasion.

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

Social media has become one of the fronts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, harboring sometimes misleading information but also real-time monitoring of a rapidly developing conflict that marks the biggest crisis geopolitics of Europe for decades.

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