Twitter removes 'government-funded' labels from state-sponsored media outlets

Twitter's page dedicated to explaining the different labels was also deleted.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Twitter has, seemingly without warning, removed the labels attached to accounts that are state-affiliated or funded to some degree by the government.

The move coincided with the social media giant's decision to take away the verification checkmarks of individuals who hadn't yet paid the $8 fee to join Twitter Blue.

The removal of the labels was first noticed by users on Friday, many of whom tweeted about it.

The page on Twitter's website dedicated to explaining the different labels has since been deleted, suggesting they are either being revamped, or gone for good.

While the accounts of Russia Today, Xinhua News, and other propaganda outlets controlled by authoritarian regimes were given their respective labels in 2020, it was only recently that news organizations in democratic nations were subject to the same treatment.

National Public Radio, which has described itself as a "private, nonprofit company with editorial independence," was the firs to be slapped with a "state-affiliated media" label. It was soon changed to "government-funded media," despite the fact that, according to CEO John Lansing, it "receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

NPR did not respond kindly to the label, and announced that it would stop posting on Twitter as a result. The Public Broadcasting Service, which receives 15 percent of its revenue from the federal government, was also hit with the label, and joined NPR in boycotting the platform.

Perhaps most notable, however, was Twitter's decision to label the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation "government-funded media." Journalists, pundits, and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau complained, noting that the CBC was not fully publicly-funded.

Elon Musk changed the label to "70% government-funded," but soon altered it to say "69% government-funded."

Now, as is the case with all the aforementioned outlets, CBC is back to having no label attached to its account.

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