Twitter lifts restrictions on Russian government accounts

Twitter’s former management noted that such changes probably “would not have happened accidentally, or without the knowledge and direction of company’s staff”.

Photo: Decode 39

Twitter is showing Russian government accounts again. Restrictions on them were introduced in April last year after the full-scale invasion of Russia. This was reported by The Telegraph.

The publication found out that Russian government accounts, including the page of Vladimir Putinthe Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Russian Embassy in the UK, are displayed at the top of some search results and in the offers of other accounts for the subscription.

In addition, tweets from the Russian government appear in the “For You” feed, which is controlled by Twitter’s algorithm, for a newly created account, even if they have not followed them.

Last April, after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Twitter said it would “not amplify or recommend government accounts belonging to states that limit access to free information and are engaged in armed interstate conflict”, noting that this policy applies to Russian government accounts.

For example, on July 29 last year, the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom posted on Twitter that the soldiers of the Ukrainian Azov regiment deserved a humiliating death.

The tweet provoked a strong reaction online. Twitter flagged the post as violating its hate speech policy but left it available in the public interest.

Accordingly, the network has previously tried to counteract overtly aggressive Russian rhetoric and large-scale Russian disinformation campaigns.

The restrictions imposed meant that accounts linked to the Kremlin would not be recommended in search, home timelines, and other parts of the service.

Former Twitter executives told The Telegraph that the changes now represent a retreat from last year’s policy: “It would be exceedingly unlikely that this change would have happened accidentally, or without the knowledge and direction of the company’s staff.”

As a reminder, Twitter recently stopped taking measures to restrict Russian and Chinese state media.

The Stay Informed mark no longer appears next to posts by media controlled by Russia and China. At the same time, Twitter’s policy on state-run media in these countries has not changed.

At the same time, according to Twitter observers, publications related to the Russian war in Ukraine are labeled as disinformation, which reduces their reach and engagement.

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