Twitter announced today that it will no longer allow state-controlled media outlets to use its advertising platform for their cause. The micro-blogging service has clarified that those news entities will still be able to use their existing Twitter accounts to share their agenda and other content with their followers.
The new policy change will be implemented globally as part of Twitter's efforts to keep a healthy and open conversation on its platform. Regarding today's announcement, the company says:
We want to protect healthy discourse and open conversation. To that end, we believe that there is a difference between engaging in conversation with accounts you choose to follow and the content you see from advertisers in your Twitter experience which may be from accounts you're not currently following. We have policies for both but we have higher standards for our advertisers.
This policy will not apply to taxpayer-funded entities, including independent public broadcasters.
News outlets covered by the ban include those who rely on the state in terms of the financial and editorial aspects of their operations. Twitter will check whether a news outlet is independent from the state in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, Freedom House, the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, the European Journalism Centre’s Media Landscapes Report, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and UNESCO.
Media outlets focusing on entertainment, sports, and travel content will be exempted, though, provided they don't mix their content with news. Affected outlets will have a month to remove their ads on Twitter after receiving a notification from the company.