Social Media

Twitter’s decision to remove ‘government-funded’ news labels sparks controversy

Government funded

Following a wave of criticism, Twitter has eradicated all “government-funded media” tags from accounts belonging to conventional publications and electronic news outlets. The move came after NPR and national public broadcasters in multiple countries blasted the labeling as deceiving and temporarily deactivated their affiliated Twitter accounts. This latest adjustment made by Twitter was authorized by Elon Musk without explanation or warning.

The Verge reports that Twitter has also removed its web page explaining its “government-funded media” labels.

The company took this step a day after it had begun revoking check mark icons from the profiles of thousands of celebrities, politicians and journalists with verified identifications since Mr. Musk acquired the business in October for $44 billion.

A number of global news outlets, such as ABC Australia, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), New Zealand’s RNZ, Sweden’s SR Ekot and SVT, and Catalonia’s, received government-funded media labels later on Twitter.

As a publicly funded broadcaster, ABC News is governed by the ABC Charter, which is enshrined in law.

It argued that the ABC has been an independent media organization for more than 90 years, free of political and commercial interests.

As a result, Twitter users might believe the outlet is government-controlled, according to SBS.

According to CBC/Radio-Canada, “our journalism is impartial and independent”.

On Thursday, the Global Task Force stated that labeling some of its members as “Government-funded Media” was misleading, noting that their editorial independence is legally protected. The group argued that Twitter’s action could undermine the credibility of national broadcasters by falsely implying that they are not editorially independent. As a result, on Friday Twitter had removed the labels from the accounts of NPR, BBC, PBS, CBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. They also took down their policy page about media labels. NPR has declared it will not immediately return to Twitter and still needs time to trust that it can continue a presence on the Musk-run platform. Meanwhile, PBS declined to comment and CBC said it’s reviewing this new development before taking any further steps.

As a result of being labelled as government-backed media, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has also left Twitter.


Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.

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