Twitter to Label and Regulate Belarusian State Media Posts in an Effort to Combat Misinformation

Twitter will put labels on and restrict the dissemination of content from Belarus state media and their top staff; the company announced on Thursday to stop misinformation coming from Russia’s ally during its aggression on Ukraine.

In the last few times, social media sites like Twitter have started labeling accounts of broadcasters from the state and news sites to indicate that the government funds these organizations.

Accounts are marked, and their posts aren’t included in search results and Twitter suggestions.

Yoel Roth from Twitter, the chief of integrity for sites, said to reporters that Twitter would be labeling around 15 Belurasian outlets.

The largest of them was the news agency BelTa which has more than 37,000 followers.

“We’ve seen evidence that these outlets as well as their affiliates in Russia, have engaged in information warfare, and are employing media and other assets that they control to propagate favorable narratives and to confuse and distract the public about what is going on,” Roth stated.

Other broadcasters covered include Belteleradio along with radio stations that share government-created “editorial points,” he added.

BelTa and Belteleradio did not immediately reply to requests for comments.

In March, Belarus was the launchpad for Russia to launch its incursion into Ukraine.

Russia declares its actions against Ukraine as a “special operation.”

The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said to his defense minister on Thursday they must stop any attempt to block Russian pipelines and “strike at Russians from the rear” according to BelTa.

Twitter’s policy is to be labeled as a state-affiliated media “where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”

It has labeled media of more than 20 countries as “big” and plans to expand worldwide.

Belarus was deemed the most important “given the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” Roth declared. Business and government restrictions on Belarus are increasing.

Last week, the European Union effectively stopped 70 percent of imports from Belarus, and American Express and Dassault Systemes are among the companies that have suspended their business in Belarus.

World Athletics banned Belarus from hosting competitions after previously barred its athletes.