Pro-government media in Serbia reacts with outrage to a decision by Twitter to label most outlets “state-affiliated,” with one newspaper comparing the social media platform to Adolf Hitler.
Twitter accounts of most influential newspapers and all national TV broadcasters, including public service Radio-television of Serbia (RTS), were marked as linked to the Serbian government earlier this week.
Twitter defines state-affiliated media as outlets where the state “exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”
“Twitter is a propaganda war machine” – Serbia’s tabloid Informer pic.twitter.com/DvHnaXk3yo
— Balkanist Magazine (@Balkanist) August 19, 2021
Serbia’s ruling party led by populist President Aleksandar Vucic faces growing accusations from rights groups that it is snuffing out critical journalism and consolidating media ownership into friendly hands.
Vucic says the decision to label the media state-affiliated is a “compliment” for those outlets, adding that it is normal for media outlets to collaborate with the government.
“Now you see who the real censors are. I can’t wait for them to suspend my account, so I can become another Trump in the world,” Vucic tells local media.
Pro-government tabloid Informer publishes a front-page headline dominated by a photo of Adolf Hitler, calling Twitter a “propaganda war machine.”