Canada's CBC is the latest to leave Twitter in objection to 'goverment-funded' label

The broadcaster rejects the implication the government influences its reporting.


It's not just American broadcasters departing Twitter in opposition to the "government-funded media" label. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is "pausing" its use of Twitter over the label's implication that the government may influence its editorial output. Reporting is "impartial and independent," the media outlet says.

There's no word on whether or not the CBC is in discussions with Twitter to alter the label. We've asked the broadcaster for comment. The UK's British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) succeeded in having Twitter change its label to "publicly-funded" soon after a quickly-organized interview with Elon Musk, who said he agreed with the corporation's description of itself.

The CBC is a Crown corporation, which means it's completely owned by the Canadian government but editorially independent — the country's Broadcasting Act enshrines that hands-off approach in law. It also makes some of its money from advertising.

Attention to the issue in the US began in earnest when National Public Radio (NPR) objected to "US state-affiliated" media labelling. Twitter changed the label, but to a "government-funded" designation that still implied bias. NPR quit the platform days later. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) made a similar move, noting that most of its revenue comes from private sources.

The CBC's halt won't necessarily lead Twitter to change its label policy. However, it makes clear that the exodus is an international phenomenon. Don't be surprised if the trend continues in other countries where similarly structured broadcasters operate.

Update 04/17/23 11:50PM: Elon Musk tweeted that since CBC claimed to be less than 70 percent government-funded, Twitter has updated its profile to say that it's a "69% Government-funded Media."

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