Twitter CEO Elon Musk says all media that receives government funding should be slapped with an affiliated warning label so readers can better calibrate the truth.
“You know how foreign media is labeled on Twitter often as Russian state controlled media,” one user asked Musk.
“Why don’t we do the same thing in the US — with all of these media organizations that are telling us to go to war, you know, why don’t we label them as well? Like ‘US government state media.’”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Musk responded during a live Q&A on Saturday.
Musk also said the rule should apply to the recently bankrupt FTX’s CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
“SBF gave so much money to different media organizations that — and then they just write these puff pieces, and it’s like, OK, we should be labelling that ‘SBF affiliated media’ because it is,” Musk said.
“So, if you’re going to write a puff piece about someone who gave you a ton of money, then the public should know that you maybe have a bias, so, yeah, I think it should be, if something is taking direction from the state, then that information should be made clear to the readers.”
Twitter users in Canada quickly note that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) would qualify for the pending “state-affiliated” label under the proposed parameters.
The CBC received over $1.2 billion in government funding in 2021-2022. Countless other Canadian mainstream media organizations also receive bailout money. Just months before the 2019 Canadian election, the Trudeau government announced a $600 million media bailout for companies it considered qualified.
In 2022, two former CBC employees blew the whistle on the network for its biased coverage.
The proposed label is already attached to accounts for the Russian media and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPP) media. Since Musk became Twitter CEO, the CCP requested his platform drop the “state-affiliated” label attached to certain politicians, including some retired ones.
Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter strives for greater public transparency.
On Friday, Musk quote-tweeted independent journalist Matt Taibbi to direct users to bombshell discoveries regarding Twitter’s election interference in the 2020 election.
Taibbi provided receipts that proved exchanges between former Twitter executives and US government officials.
“By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.”
Taibbi said, “Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party.”