The broadcaster justified the decision on Monday by saying that Twitter had labeled the CBC and its French-language edition, Radio-Canada, as “state-sponsored,” a term previously only found in media outlets in authoritarian countries such as Russia and China.
“For CBC/Radio-Canada, this labeling is false and misleading,” the broadcaster said. Although the CBC is a government-funded broadcaster, its independence of reporting is guaranteed by the Canadian Broadcasting Act.
CBC: Undermining our work
“Twitter will be a powerful tool for our journalists to connect with Canadians,” the CBC statement said. But it undermines their work if “our freedom is thus misrepresented.” “As a result, we will suspend our activity on our Twitter account and all CBC and Radio Canada news accounts,” the broadcaster said, calling on people in Canada to follow along on other online networks.
Last week, American public radio station NPR said goodbye to Twitter. As of now both have not posted anything on their account. Britain’s BBC online service managed to label it “publicly funded” instead of “government funded”. ORF and German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF were also declared “publicly funded”.
The difference from Musk’s point of view is that ORF, for example, is fee-funded, while the CBC is – for the most part – funded from the Canadian budget. On the other hand, NPR receives only 1 percent of its funding from public funds. In addition to advertising, the radio station is mainly funded by voluntary contributions from its listeners. In any case, the equation with Russian broadcasters, for example, is caused by labeling, which ignores reality.
Less action against trolls and hate speech
The online network’s trajectory has changed since Musk took over. Twitter now takes less action against posts that incite hate or spread misinformation. Musk, on the other hand, rejects the established media. For example, the Twitter press office recently responded to journalists’ questions with an automated response that contained only an icon of a pile of poop.
Leader of Opposition request Kasthuri
Canadian Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre, a staunch CBC critic, took Musk’s position to task. In a letter last week, he asked the multibillionaire to label the CBC a “government-funded media outlet” on its Twitter accounts. This is “in the interests of transparency” as the station is already almost two-thirds funded by the Canadian government in the 2021/2022 tax year.
Poilivre accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of “attacking this Canadian institution” on Monday. The Prime Minister emphasized that the CBC is “very important to many Canadians.”
Swedish Radio is no longer relevant to Twitter
A few hours after the CBC’s announcement, Sweden’s public service Sveriges Radio (SR) announced it was suspending its operations. However, in SR’s case, it’s not because of the classification – SR is described as “publicly funded” by Twitter – but because, according to SR, Twitter has “been de-prioritized for a long time”.
“We have now decided to completely cease our operations and delete several more accounts,” the broadcaster said on its website on Tuesday. Twitter had “simply changed” and lost relevance for the station, it said.
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