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Twitter puts ‘government-funded media’ tag on CBC account

Twitter has labeled the CBC account a “government-funded media outlet,” the social media company’s latest move to stamp out public broadcasters.

“Government-funded media is defined as media where the government provides part or all of the media’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement in editorial content.” according to Twitter.

National Public Radio in the US announced earlier this month that it was leaving the platform after Twitter labeled its account as “state-affiliated media”, saying it undermined their credibility by “falsely implying that we are not editorially independent”.

US public broadcaster PBS followed suit, also leaving Twitter after receiving a “government-sponsored” stamp.

Conservative leader Pierre Polyevre recently Twitter CEO Elon Musk has called for a “government-sponsored” label to be added to accounts promoting CBC’s “newsworthy” content.

Responding to the label on Sunday, Polievre tweeted that the CBC had been “officially exposed” as “Trudeau propaganda, not news.”

It is the CBC Crown corporationwhich is wholly owned by the state but operates at arm’s length from the government.

In a statement Sunday evening, CBC corporate spokesman Leon Marr emphasized that the government does not influence CBC editorial content.

“Twitter’s own policy defines government-funded media as instances where the government ‘may have varying degrees of government involvement in editorial content,’ which is clearly inconsistent with CBC/Radio-Canada,” Marr said.

“CBC/Radio-Canada is publicly funded through parliamentary appropriations voted by all members of Parliament. Its editorial independence is protected by law in the Broadcasting Act.”

In its 2021-2022 annual report CBC reported $1.24 billion in government funding. It also reported $651 million in revenue, mostly from advertising for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Olympics, both held in the same fiscal year, and stronger demand for TV ads than last year. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, CBC reported $1.39 billion in government funding and $504 million in revenue.

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