BBC: Government Funded Media. Screenshot from the BBC’s Twitter account
Twitter has labelled the British Broadcasting Corporation as a “state-funded media organisation” and the BBC, which has 2.2 million Twitter followers, doesn’t like it.
The BBC “is and always has been” independent
According to CNN, the broadcaster has contacted Twitter and insisted that it is and has always been independent:
– We have contacted Twitter and want to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. The BBC is and always has been independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee.
This trend is so hilarious. pic.twitter.com/ZpxGCea07r
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) April 9, 2023
In good company
By labelling the BBC as state-funded media, the broadcaster joins the Chinese Xinhua News, American NPR and Russian Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik.
The Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and Press TV are labelled “Iran state-affiliated media”.
The American National Public Radio (NPR) called the decision to put them in stalls with media that Twitter identifies as “being under the control of the authorities”, as “unacceptable”.
Other broadcasters that are labelled “Government Funded Media” are the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Voice of America.
NRK still not identified
Twitter’s identification of state-affiliated media is so far incomplete. At the time of writing, for example, Qatar’s Al Jazeera, Canada’s CBC, Australia’s ABC News and Norway’s NRK are not marked as media where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressure, and/or control over production and distribution.
Hey @elonmusk, it’s either ‘Government Funded’ or ‘State-Affiliated’ or no labels for all. Don’t treat western propaganda media differently because they are outraged by being labeled. They never complained about Twitter labeling foreign news organizations or journalists. Be fair.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) April 9, 2023
Follow the money
Elon Musk believes it makes sense to follow the money and to look at the ownership structure of media companies:
We strive for maximum transparency and accuracy. It makes sense to link media organisations to ownership and source of funding. I believe media organisations should not claim to be completely impartial.
No Norwegian media companies financed through state press support have so far been given the label state-funded, but Twitter is continuously being updated.
Norway funds several billions for their press. It’s certainly not free, it’s state funded.
— Konstantin Rowell (@jonnyenkeltmann) December 27, 2019