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Twitter Blocks Accounts of Major Iran News Agencies

The micro-blogging site said all the account sets were originated in Iran

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter has blocked accounts of some major Iran news agencies over alleged harassment of people who follow the Baha’i faith.

The agencies speculated the blocking of their accounts occurred after British-flagged oil tanker was seized by the country in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions in the Gulf.

Persian language Twitter accounts of the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Mehr News agency and the Young Journalists Club (YJC) news outlet were suspended due to Twitter rule violations, Sputnik News reported on Sunday.

Some media reports said the accounts were suspended for targeted harassment of people associated with Baha’i — a minority faith in Iran.

According to the English edition of Mehr News, the two agency’s accounts (@MehrDiplomacy and @MehrNews_FA) were blocked for unknown reasons.

Twitter users noted that state-run media IRNA (@irna_1313) and the YJC (@yjcagency) accounts have also been suspended.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Twitter was yet to issue an official statement on this.

The accounts were blocked after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for violating international maritime regulations.

In June, Twitter pulled down almost 5,000 accounts suspected of being directly run or linked to the Iranian government.

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The micro-blogging site said all the account sets were originated in Iran.

Twitter cracked down on a total of 4,779 pages and it took down at least 1,666 accounts in set one that originated in Iran. Cumulatively, these accounts tweeted nearly two million times. (IANS)

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Twitter to Bring Back its ‘Election Labels’ Feature for 2020 US Elections

"You'll start seeing Labels appear on applicable candidates' Twitter accounts once the candidate has qualified for the general election ballot. This will happen on a rolling basis as states have different caucus and election dates, with the first occurring on March 3," said the company

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The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

Twitter has announced to bring back its “Election Labels” feature for the 2020 US presidential election that received overwhelmingly positive feedback from voters and candidates and played a prominent role in election conversation in the 2018 US midterm election.

In the week before election day, people on Twitter saw Labeled accounts approximately 100 million times each day, and 13 per cent of US election conversation on Twitter included a Tweet with an ‘Election Label’.

“With just under a year until US Election Day and two months until the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucus, we’re launching two initiatives that will help people find original sources of information on Twitter by clearly identifying political candidates,” Twitter said in a statement on Thursday.

“First, we’re bringing back Election Labels, which we first launched during the 2018 US midterm election.

“Second, starting this week, we’ll start identifying candidates who qualify for the primary ballot for US House, US Senate, and Gubernatorial races with a verified badge,” the micro-blogging platform added.

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

For both primary candidate verification and Election Labels, Twitter is partnering with civic non-profit organization Ballotpedia to utilize their expertise in identifying the official campaign Twitter accounts of candidates.

Election Labels provide information about political candidates, like the office they are running for, their state and district number, and contain a small ballot box icon.

The Label will appear on the profile page of a candidate’s Twitter account and on every Tweet sent and retweeted by the candidate’s account, even when embedded on sites off of Twitter.

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Labels will appear on the Twitter accounts of candidates running for the House of Representatives, Senate, or Governor in the 2020 election who have qualified for the general election ballot.

“You’ll start seeing Labels appear on applicable candidates’ Twitter accounts once the candidate has qualified for the general election ballot. This will happen on a rolling basis as states have different caucus and election dates, with the first occurring on March 3,” said the company. (IANS)