Twitter expands labels to the personal accounts of world leaders

Twitter is looking to further increase political transparency on its platform with an update to its account labelling measures, which will see the personal accounts of heads of state receiving labels.

Six months ago, Twitter begun labelling the accounts of ‘key government officials’ and government-linked media outlets but steered clear of labelling any personal accounts. Now, in a change of heart, the app will label personal accounts of world leaders in addition to the institutional accounts it already labels.

Twitter is also going to begin adding more detail to the text displayed in the labels, so its easier to differentiate between individuals and institutions.

“We believe this is an important step so that when people see an account discussing geopolitical issues from another country, they have context on its national affiliation, and are better informed about who they represent,” said Twitter. “We’re also focused on those within the respective administrations underneath the head of state that offer its policy perspective abroad.”

These changes will be implemented on Wednesday 17 February 2021 – a day that will also see the political labels rolled out in Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US were the first batch of countries to see labelling of key government officials and state-affiliated media in August.