Twitter limits the spread of Belarus state media posts to support Ukraine

Twitter Inc. says it will put labels on and limit the spread of posts from Belarus state media and their senior staff. This is a move to stop misinformation from Russia’s ally in its invasion of Ukraine, the company said on Thursday.

It’s been a few years now, but social media services like Twitter have started labeling the accounts of state broadcasters and news websites so people know they’re run by the government. When you search for something on Twitter, you can’t see a lot of labeled accounts or their posts. In an interview, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, told reporters that the company would label about 15 Belurasian media outlets. The largest of these is the news agency BelTa, which has nearly 37,000 followers on the service.

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 According to Roth, “We’ve seen evidence that these outlets, as well as their affiliates in Russia, have been involved in information warfare.” They use the media and other assets they control to spread favorable stories and confuse and distract the public about what is going on, he said. Belteleradio and radio stations that use government-approved “editorial points” are also covered, he said.

BelTa and Belteleradio didn’t answer questions right away. Belarus was one of the places Russia used to start its attack on Ukraine last month. People in Russia call what they did in Ukraine a “special operation.” Leader: Alexander Lukashenko told his defense ministry on Thursday that it must keep Russian supply lines open and “strike at Russians from the back.” BelTa says this is what he said.

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State-affiliated media are those that the state has control over through money, direct or indirect political pressures, and control over production and distribution.

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It had named the media in more than 20 big countries, with plans to go global. Roth said that Belarus was given more attention because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Government and business restrictions in Belarus have been getting more and more strict. Last week, the European Union effectively banned about 70% of all imports from Belarus. American Express and Dassault Systemes are two of the companies that have stopped doing business in Belarus because of this. Following a previous ban on Belarusian athletes, World Athletics has banned the country from hosting events.