Twitter has put a “government-funded media” label on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) account, the latest in a series of designations for media organizations on the social media platform.
The move comes after Twitter tagged NPR, PBS, and BBC with the same label, and less than a week after Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre wrote to Twitter owner Elon Musk, asking to “accurately label CBC as ‘government-funded media.’”
CBC responded to Poilievre’s call with a short statement from spokesperson Leon Mar, and said that they “can’t comment on the motives behind the letter.”
Mar said that per Twitter’s own policy “defines government-funded media as cases where the government ‘may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content,’” and argued that it is “clearly not the case with CBC/Radio-Canada.”
Twitter applied the label on Sunday, with Poilievre announcing that CBC has been “officially exposed” as a government-funded media, and said that it’s “Trudeau propaganda, not news.” He also has since launched a petition to “save $1 billion” and defund the organization.
CBC on Sunday evening reiterated that the label does not apply to the organization, saying that “CBC/Radio-Canada is publicly funded through a parliamentary appropriation that is voted upon by all Members of Parliament. Its editorial independence is protected in law in the Broadcasting Act.”
In a news report, CBC said that it is a Crown corporation, meaning it is “wholly owned by the state but operated at arm’s length from government.”
It also included details on the government funding that CBC has received from 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
“In its 2021-2022 annual report, the CBC reported government funding of $1.24 billion. It also reported $651 million in revenue, largely from advertising during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, which were held in the same fiscal year, and stronger demand for television advertising than the previous year. In the fiscal year 2020-2021, CBC reported $1.39 billion in government funding and $504 million in revenue.”
The full financial reports can be seen here.
While NPR and PBC have decided to quit the platform after being tagged as government-funded media, CBC has not made any similar announcements and has continued to post on their Twitter accounts.
Poilievre, on the other hand, has received some interesting comments in his post:
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