Twitter labels state media, YouTube deletes China-linked channels

Business & Technology

Twitter has begun labelling the accounts of government representatives and media as “state-affiliated,” while Youtube said it had deleted more than 2,500 YouTube channels with links to China “as part of its effort to weed out disinformation.”

a screenshot of the xinhua news agency twitter page on the day that it was labelled "China state-affiliated media"
Screenshot of Xinhua News Agency’s Twitter account today.

After banning state-backed media advertising and political advertising in 2019, Twitter today announced a new policy on labeling accounts from state-affiliated organizations: Their tweets and profiles will now display the text “state-affiliated media” and the name of the country together with a small icon that resembles a toilet.

Who gets labeled? “Accounts of key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders,” and “accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff.”  

Who does not get labeled? “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, Google has deleted “more than 2,500 YouTube channels tied to China as part of its effort to weed out disinformation,” per Reuters.

  • The channels “were removed between April and June ‘as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China.’”
  • “These channels mostly uploaded spammy, non-political content, but a small subset posted political content,” according to Google.  
  • Google did not identify the deleted channels.