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CBC keeps accounts 'on pause' after Twitter axes 'government-funded' tag


The CBC is leaving its Twitter accounts inactive as it evaluates the social media platform's decision to remove the "government-funded media" tag on its accounts.

CBC spokesperson Leon Mar says the public broadcaster is "reviewing this latest development" and will leave its Twitter accounts "on pause" before taking any next steps.

Twitter removed the "government-funded media" description on a number of public broadcasters' accounts, including the CBC, without any explanation on Thursday.

The move came after the Global Task Force for public media called on Twitter earlier in the day to correct its description of public broadcasters in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

The group chaired by CBC president Catherine Tait had said Twitter applied the label without warning to the accounts of CBC/Radio-Canada; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, known as ABC; the Korean Broadcasting System, or KBS; and Radio New Zealand, or RNZ.

It noted that Twitter's own policy defines government-funded media as those that may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.

The task force said that was not the case here, where editorial independence is protected in law and enshrined in editorial policies.

It said the most accurate label would be "publicly funded media."

Twitter initially labelled several accounts with the British Broadcasting Corporation "government-funded media," but changed that to "publicly funded media" after the BBC objected.

The BBC is also a member of the Global Task Force, as well as France Televisions, Germany's ZDF and Sweden's SVT.

"Labelling them in this way misleads audiences about their operational and editorial independence from government," the task force said Thursday in a release.

The call follows efforts by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting to change CBC's Twitter label. The group said Monday that it wrote to Twitter to say the designation is "incorrect and misleading."

Tesla founder and billionaire Elon Musk ushered in several changes after buying Twitter for US$44 billion last October.

He has also pledged to remove verified blue check marks for users who don't pay a subscription, a move that began on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2023. Top Stories

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