George Galloway threatens to sue Twitter for branding him ‘Russian state-affiliated media’


Former MP George Galloway has threatened to take Twitter to court after social network bosses labeled his account as “Russian state-affiliated media”.

The veteran politician and latter day radio and TV host has hit out after the platform gave his account a tag suggesting he may be under the influence of the Russian state.

The label appears at the top of his public profile and cannot be removed.

It means his account is treated the same as official accounts for Russian state-controlled news platforms like RT and Sputnik.

Attacking the decision in a tweet, Galloway said: “Dear @TwitterSupport I am not ‘Russian State Affiliated media’.



George Galloway hosts a weekly show on Russian state channel RT

“I work for NO #Russian media. I have 400,000 followers. I’m the leader of a British political party and spent nearly 30 years in the British parliament.

“If you do not remove this designation I will take legal action.”

He has called on billionaire Elon Musk – who this week bought a 9.2% stake in the social network to become its majority shareholder – to remove the label.

Galloway added: “Dear @elonmusk this must be removed forthwith or action will follow. We had such hopes for your new era.”

George Galloway presents a show on RT – formerly Russia Today – each week called Sputnik Around the World, alongside his wife Gayatri.

He also presents The Mother of All Talk Shows on the Russian-owned Radio Sputnik station.

Both platforms are funded by and controlled by the Russian government.

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After the designation was added to his Twitter profile Galloway removed a number of accounts from his biography, including those for his own shows and In Question, an RT America program on which he makes regular appearances.

The ex-Labour MP, who now leads the Workers Party of Britain, has been criticized for continuing to contribute to the Russian-owned channels during the country’s invasion of Ukraine.



Galloway has stood for re-election several times since 2015
Galloway has stood for re-election several times since 2015

What do you think about the decision? Let us know in the comments section.

In a statement, he said the invasion of the country was not “what I wanted to see”, but blamed it on “pumping Ukraine full of Nato weapons”.

In contrast, former Prime Minister Alex Salmond has suspended his show on RT “until peace has been established” in Ukraine. Unlike Galloway, his account of him has not been given a Russian media label.

Last month airwaves regulator Ofcom revoked RT’s broadcasting license as it began investigating 29 alleged impartiality breaches.

The watchdog said RT was not “fit and proper to hold a license in the UK”, due to its tight links with the Kremlin.

Twitter began labeling accounts as being associated with governments and state-affiliated news agencies in the summer of 2020.

The social network has been criticized in the past for failing to combat misinformation and fake news, some of which has come from state-backed sources.

Any account that the social network believes is subject to “state…control over editorial content” is given a label in the name of transparency.

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In addition, tweets from those accounts are not amplified and shared as “recommended” posts in the feeds of users who do not follow the accounts directly.

In the UK, the policy applies to politicians like Boris Johnson but doesn’t carry over to news outlets like the BBC because it is perceived to be independent from the government despite being publicly funded.

Twitter was contacted for comment.

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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