(State) OWNED: CBC fuming after Twitter labels the broadcaster “government-funded”
Twitter updated the CBC with a ‘Government-funded media’ tag on Sunday to inform readers of potential bias from the state-broadcaster.

Mike Campbell

April 16, 2023

Twitter updated the CBC with a ‘Government-funded media’ tag on Sunday to inform readers of potential bias from the state-broadcaster.

Last week, Twitter slapped the BBC and NPR with government-funded media tags, prompting Canadians to ask CEO Elon Musk when the CBC’s account will get the same update.

And on Sunday night, that day finally came, as CBC’s main account has been updated with the tag.

Since NPR and the BBC were labelled by Twitter with the government-funded tag, the CBC had been preparing for the potential update.

Earlier this week, NPR and PBS (another outlet that got tagged by Twitter) announced they were leaving Twitter, alleging the label was unfair and, however accurate, misleading to the public.

Subsequently, CBC went to bat for the outlets with articles that implied leaving Twitter was a good thing.

As of Sunday night, CBC’s main account has been labelled with the government tag, but the CBC News (@CBCNews) account remains untagged.

CBC’s account also pinned an old tweet from 2022 that points users to other outlets they can access the state-broadcaster, including the Chinese Communist Party-affiliated Tiktok.

However unwanted by CBC, the decision seemed only a matter of time given that NPR reportedly only received 1% of its funding from the government, which is a far cry from the 70% government-funded CBC.

Earlier in the week, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre asked Twitter to label CBC with the government-tag.

“The CBC’s 2021-2022 Annual Report disclosed that it received almost $1.24 billion, the vast majority of its funding, from the Canadian government,” Poilievre said.

“I believe that Twitter should apply the Government-funded Media label to the CBC’s various news-related accounts, including @CBC, @CBCNews and @CBCAlerts,” he added.

Twitter’s policy states that media outlets in receipt of government funding will get labelled accordingly if the government “exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”

On top of two recent whistleblowers quitting and denouncing the network, CBC printed memorable bits of misinformation and “Russia!” conspiracy theories in its 2022 Freedom Convoy reporting.

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