Twitter Labels CBC ‘Government-funded Media’, Public Broadcaster Disagrees

cbc government funded twitter

After Elon Musk’s Twitter slapped the ‘Government-funded Media’ label onto the U.S. National Public Radio’s (NRP) Twitter bio, the non-profit media organization quit the social network in protest. Originally the first label was “state-affiliated media,” used for other state outlets from nations such as Russia and China.

NPR is both privately and publicly funded but quit Twitter, a move it says is to protect its credibility.

Many were calling for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to similarly gain a ‘Government-funded Media’ label and on Sunday, Twitter did just that.

The CBC protested the move, saying on Sunday, “Twitter’s own policy defines government-funded media as cases where the government “may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content,” which is clearly not the case with CBC/Radio-Canada.”

“CBC/Radio-Canada is publicly funded through a parliamentary appropriation that is voted upon by all Members of Parliament. Its editorial independence is protected in law in the Broadcasting Act, as we said in our statement from last week,” said the public broadcaster.

“In addition, our journalism is independent and subject to our Journalistic Standards and Practices, as well as an independent complaints process through @CBCOmbud and @ombudsmanrc,” said the crown corporation.

Canadian taxpayers fund the majority of the CBC’s annual budget, which was $1.24 billion as of its 2021-22 annual report.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said in response to the move, “now people know that it is Trudeau propaganda, not news.” Poilievre was one of many that asked Musk and Twitter to similarly add the government-funded label to the CBC last week.

How does Twitter determine government-funded media accounts? The social network says, “government-funded media is defined as outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content. We may use external sources similar to this one in order to determine when this label is applied,” referring to this list of publicly funded broadcasters on Wikipedia (yes, it lists the CBC).

Other outlets such as BBC News have a ‘Publicly-funded media’ label, which differs from government-funded, as these organizations get “license fees, individual contributions, public financing, and commercial financing,” as per Twitter’s guidelines.

What do you think? Should the CBC have a ‘Government-funded Media’ label on its Twitter account?