Twitter Allows Russian Accounts To Show Up Again In Search Results 

Twitter Allows Russian Accounts To Show Up Again In Search Results 
Written by Techbot

After the year-long ban on all Russian official accounts, Twitter seems to have lifted the restrictions as Russian accounts resurface in search results. The change was noted by The Telegraph, which found that the accounts of Vladamir Putin and the Russian embassy are once again showing up on search results.

Many other important Russian authorities have their Twitter accounts displayed in the feed and recommendations sections.

While we have no word from the company about these recent developments, a former Twitter employee shared that this is most likely the result of a policy change.

An Apparent Change in Twitter Policy

Twitter’s policy independently determines which accounts can be deemed as government or state-affiliated. And if an account falls into this category, its tweets or the account itself do not receive any natural boost in terms of reach from Twitter.

The policy also states that during emergencies such as armed conflict or war, when the government might try to block information, Twitter will not help them by boosting the reach of their posts.

But after Russia launched a full-fledged attack on Ukraine in February 2022, Twitter restricted all Kremlin-affiliated accounts to show its support. The restriction also extended to states and countries that tried to block the free flow of information.

When a government blocks or limits access to online services within their state, undercutting the public’s voice, but continues to use online services for their own communications, a severe information imbalance is created.Twitter Blog Post

Emphasizing the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, they also added that restricting the free flow of information or manipulating the narrative during times of distress, such as an armed conflict, can further deteriorate the situation.

Kremlin was known to use Twitter to try and plant a biased perspective of the Russia-Ukraine war.

But it looks like the company has completely removed the above section from their policy, allowing Russian accounts to join Twitter just like in the old times.

The exact reason behind this sudden change in policy is not known yet, But responding to a user this weekend, Elon Musk talked about his new approach to the social media site. In his words, Twitter will “neither prompt nor limit their accounts”.

Being fully aware of how some people might try to take advantage of this policy change to spread extremist propaganda, Musk also said that they are working towards limiting such activities and will take strict actions against those who exploit the platform for personal gains.

What’s More?

We are yet to see how people react to this new policy change. Musk has already received his first criticism after he refused to investigate a tweet by a Russian government official encouraging the disappearance of Ukraine. When called out by Anonymous Operations, Musk simply said that people have the right to decide for themselves and Twitter will no longer meddle in speech violation issues.

Twitter’s moderation capacities have dwindled after Musk took over and fired more than half of the moderation team.

Elon Musk has been making rapid and extreme decisions one after the other. Just last week, Twitter banned all links leading to Substack, its rising competitor. Similarly, Musk also wrongly labeled NPR as a state-affiliated organization which was heavily objected to by the BBC.

Twitter also removed the blue verification mark from The New York Times profile. While the initial plan was to remove all legacy verifications marks by April 1, the plans seem to have stalled for the moment.

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