Monday, July 22, 2024

‘Clearly not the case’: Twitter labels CBC as ‘Government-funded Media’


CBC is the latest to have been slapped with the ‘Government-funded Media’ label on Elon Musk’s Twitter. 

This label was created to avoid the spread of misinformation and propaganda from state-run media outlets in which the government has editorial powers over the organization — which is not the case for CBC. 

Only the main account for CBC has had the label applied to it. CBC News, CBC Radio and all local accounts have not yet been labeled as ‘Government-funded Media’. 

Regardless, CBC is fuming at what they believe to be a wrongful, misleading move from Twitter. 

In a series of tweets, CBC outlined how and why they cannot possibly be government-funded media, based on Twitter’s own guidelines:

The label being applied to the CBC account was spearheaded by Conservative leader and official opposition leader, Pierre Poilievre. 

Poilievre wrote to Twitter and Musk requesting the label be applied to CBC on April 11th, and in less than a week, Twitter followed through with the request. 

Just last week, NPR, a Washington, DC-based broadcaster with a similar structure as CBC also had the label applied to their Twitter accounts. Their response was to boycott the platform and stop tweeting until the label is removed. 

BBC, who also have a similar structure as CBC has also been categorized by Twitter, but their category is ‘Publicly-funded Media’, which is in fact what they are, due to the way they are funded. 

The following is Twitter’s criteria for ‘Publicly-funded Media’:

“Publicly-funded media refers to media organizations that receive funding from license fees, individual contributions, public financing, and commercial financing.”

If CBC was to be given the ‘Publicly-funded Media’ label, it would more accurately portray their relationship with the Canadian government and where their funding comes from. 

In a press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decried the decision by Twitter and Poilievre for initiating this move. 

Curtis Blandy

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