Last week, CBC, alongside other media organizations, received a badge on their Twitter profiles that read “Government-funded Media.”
Subsequently, CBC appealed, saying it is “less than 70% government-funded.” Twitter CEO Elon Musk, being the troll that he is, changed CBC’s Twitter account badge to read “69% Government-funded Media.”
On April 17th, CBC stated on Twitter that it’s “pausing” all activity on the social media platform, noting that its “journalism is impartial and independent.”
Our journalism is impartial and independent. To suggest otherwise is untrue. That is why we are pausing our activities on @Twitter. | Notre journalisme est impartial et indépendant. Prétendre le contraire est faux. C’est pourquoi nous suspendons nos activités sur @Twitter.
— CBC/Radio-Canada (@CBCRadioCanada) April 17, 2023
Now, Twitter has removed the “government-funded” label from news organizations’ Twitter handles. The labels were removed on Friday, including those on accounts affiliated with the British Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting Service, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and China state-backed broadcaster CGTN, among others.
Musk has been working on changing the way Twitter identifies users as he seeks to profit from verification and labels that single out certain groups, such as large businesses and prominent individuals. This comes soon after Twitter removed Blue legacy verification checkmarks from user profiles, including MobileSyrup‘s Twitter account.
Many news outlets, including the CBC had complained that the labels unfairly implied their journalism was influenced by government. On the other hand, the removal of the labels has sparked controversy, with critics arguing that it could lead to confusion among Twitter users about the funding and affiliations of news organizations. Now, even after the government-funded label has been removed, CBC said that it will leave its Twitter accounts “on pause before taking any next steps,” as reported by The National Post.
However, Musk’s efforts to change the way Twitter identifies users are likely to continue as he seeks to monetize the platform’s verification and labeling systems.