Twitter lifted restrictions this week on the accounts of Putin and some Russian agencies after blocking them a year ago. The social network owned by Elon Musk is once again displaying the Russian president's profile in recommended accounts as well as in search results.
According to The Telegraph, the platform has not only lifted restrictions on the Russian president's profile, but it is also re-displaying the profiles of other Russian organizations such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Russia in the United Kingdom, which were silenced almost a year ago for claiming that Ukrainian soldiers "deserve death by hanging."
The move ends the rule imposed by Twitter a year ago, two months after the war in Ukraine began. The social network reported, at the time, that it "would not amplify or recommend government accounts belonging to states that limit access to free information and are involved in interstate armed conflicts." The statement also reported that this policy would be applied to Russian government accounts and would go into effect immediately. These would not be recommended in searches, the home timeline or other parts of the platform.
Twitter intentionally lifted restrictions on the accounts
The restrictions remained in effect until last week. Since that time, several users have reported that the accounts of the Russian government and the president himself reappeared in certain search results as well as in suggestions of other accounts to follow.
This change, as confirmed by a former executive of the social network to The Telegraph, would not be possible without the knowledge of Twitter's senior executives: "It would be exceedingly unlikely that this change would have happened accidentally, or without the knowledge and direction of the company's staff."
Lifting restrictions on these accounts reveals the end of the conflict between Vladimir Putin and the social network owned by Elon Musk. In February 2022, the Russian president restricted his citizens' access to international media. He also banned Russians from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook which he accused of spreading disinformation.