The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation suspended its use of Twitter on Monday after Elon Musk’s social media platform stamped CBC’s account with a tag that the public broadcaster says is intended to undermine its credibility.
Twitter has called CBC/Radio-Canada “government-funded media” — the same label that prompted National Public Radio in the US to similarly leave Twitter last Wednesday.
“Twitter can be a powerful tool for journalists to connect with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be mischaracterized in this way,” CBC spokesman Leon Marr said in a statement announcing. Monday afternoon change.
“As a result, we will be pausing activity on our corporate Twitter account and all news-related accounts on CBC and Radio Canada,” the statement said.
CBC sent a message to Twitter asking the company to re-examine the designation. Musk later tweeted about it and changed it to “69 percent of media is funded by the government.”
Marr argued that the CBC does not meet these criteria, as it is generally funded through parliamentary accreditation which is voted on by all members of Parliament, and its editorial independence is protected by law in the Broadcasting Act.
The CBC Board of Directors determines how the funding it receives is spent. In 2021-22, the CBC has received more than CAD 1.2 billion (US$900 million) in government funding.
The opposition Conservative Party of Canada Pierre Poiliffry urged Twitter to name the CBC. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Poilievre for what he called an “attack on a constituent Canadian institution”.
Initially, Twitter labeled NPR’s main account as “state media,” a term also used to designate media controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments, such as Russia and China. Twitter later changed the label to “Government Funded Media”, but to NPR – which relies on the government for a fraction of its funding – remains misleading.
Twitter earlier responded to a request for comment on why the sticker was applied and whether it would be removed or changed with an automatically generated email carrying emoji.
More than any of its competitors, Twitter said its users come to it to keep track of current events. This made it an attractive place for news outlets to share their stories and reinforced Twitter’s moves to combat the spread of misinformation. But Musk has long expressed his disdain for professional journalists and said he wants to elevate the opinions and experiences of the “ordinary citizen”.
Musk also abruptly suspended the accounts of individual journalists who wrote about Twitter late last year, alleging that some of them were trying to reveal his location.
Twitter earlier in April removed the verification tag from the main account of The New York Times, mocking the newspaper for its reporting after it said it would not pay Twitter to verify its corporate accounts.
Twitter also uses blue check marks to verify their identity and distinguish them from scammers. But Musk derided the tags as an undeserved status symbol and plans to withdraw them from anyone who doesn’t buy a premium subscription.
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