A few days after a major exposé of a UK government funded influence campaign targeting Russia, which also implicated Reuters, Bellingcat and the BBC, Twitter applied a warning label to any post sharing the article via the social media giant’s platform.
Twitter has reversed its warning label that it initially applied to a story, published by The Grayzone news site, revealing a UK government funded mass propaganda effort aimed at isolating and destabilising Russia.
The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal published the story, shortly after investigative journalist Kit Klarenberg’s own piece on the matter, based on a treasure trove of documents belonging to the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The Grayzone’s article is entitled Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal.
However, one day after the story began to be shared via the social media giant, a message from Twitter was added stating, “These materials may have been obtained through hacking”. If a user attempted to like or retweet the article the message would appear again, this time encompassing most of the screen if the he or she was using their mobile phone.
“I have never seen [this warning] before. It appears as though it was specifically created for this story”, Aaron Maté of The Grayzone said during a video discussion with Blumenthal, published on 25 February. “Which raises the question of why and what that…