After the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) received a “government-funded” label on its main Twitter account, Elon Musk changed it to read “69% government-funded media.”
This move came after Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre publicly requested that Musk do so. In response to the label, CBC and Radio Canada have announced a pause in their Twitter activities, extending to all of the public broadcaster’s news and corporate accounts.
A spokesperson for CBC confirmed this decision. Furthermore, CBC has sent a letter to Twitter requesting that the platform reconsider the designation.
While it’s unclear how long the break would last, CBC’s spokesperson said: “We hope this pause will be temporary.”
Later that night, it seems that Musk responded to CBC’s outcry by posting a photo of CBC’s updated label reading “70% government-funded media” with the message “Their concern has been addressed.” However, he later corrected the percentage to 69%.
CBC/Radio-Canada had previously disputed the labeling, writing that Twitter’s policy defined “government-funded media” accounts as outlets that “may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.”
Although CBC is funded by parliamentary appropriation, the outlet stated on Monday that its editorial independence is secured by law under the Broadcasting Act.
“Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians,” CBC said in its statement, “but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way.”
@CBC’s main account was labeled as “government funded,” while its affiliates and related accounts, including Radio-Canada, CBC/Radio-Canada, CBC News Alerts, and local networks were not given the designation. In response, some CBC journalists said they would take a leave from Twitter, although the pause won’t apply to individual staff accounts. CBC’s decision follows similar moves by US news outlets NPR and PBS, which halted their Twitter activities after receiving the same label. The label was applied to CBC days after Poilievre asked Musk to classify the national broadcaster and its affiliates as “government funded.”