Elon Musk labels BBC Twitter handle as ‘government-funded media’. But Why?

Elon Musk labels BBC Twitter handle as ‘government-funded media’. But Why?:- On its Twitter profile page, the account owned by Elon Musk referred to the BBC as a media outlet funded by the government.

Twitter categorized the BBC as a state-funded organization while noting its editorial independence in its policy.

However, the BBC quickly disputed the label, emphasizing that it operates as a public service through the collection of license fees.

Elon Musk And BBC

Twitter’s definition of “state-affiliated media” on its platform may cause controversy within the UK-based media house.

Elon Musk labels BBC Twitter handle as ‘government-funded media’. But Why?

According to Twitter’s policy, media organizations that are funded by the state but operate with editorial independence, such as the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US, do not fall under the category of state-affiliated media.

Twitter’s policy distinguishes the label of “government-funded media” from that of “state-affiliated media.” The latter is defined as media outlets that lack editorial independence and are subject to government control over their content.

In contrast, Twitter’s characterization of the BBC as “government-funded media” acknowledges its state financing while also recognizing its editorial independence.

Elon Musk labels BBC Twitter handle as 'government-funded media'. But Why?
Elon Musk labels BBC Twitter handle as ‘government-funded media’. But Why?

As part of its policy, Twitter also considers the America-based NPR as a government-funded media outlet. In a recent tweet, Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and Tesla, criticized The New York Times, saying that their content is uninteresting and characterized it as propaganda.

Although some critics disagree with the billionaire businessman’s views on media outlets and his tendency to criticize them on Twitter, many internet users were intrigued by his perspective on the matter.


The BBC expressed its objections to the new label placed on its primary Twitter account. In response, the corporation stated that it is engaged in discussions with Twitter to address the matter promptly.

In a statement, the BBC asserted that it has always maintained its independence and that it is supported by the British public through the payment of licensing fees.

It is worth noting that British law requires an annual license fee of $197 to access live television broadcasts or streaming services in the UK.

This regulation is mandated by the government, and residents of UK households are required to pay the fee to avail of these services.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been classified as “government-funded media” on its verified Twitter account.

Elon Musk has also applied this label to other media outlets, including American broadcaster NPR, while RT has been designated as “Russia state-affiliated media”.

The BBC has publicly refuted Twitter’s new classification and confirmed that it is in discussions with Elon Musk’s company to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, NPR was initially categorized as “state-affiliated media,” but this was later changed to “government-funded media.” NPR has vowed to suspend its Twitter activity until the label issue is resolved.

In response to the new label assigned by Twitter, the BBC issued a statement affirming its independence and stating that it is funded by the British public through the payment of a £159 annual license fee.

According to the corporation, the license fee is mandated by the UK government and is required by law to access live TV broadcasts or streaming services in the country. The fee is paid by individual UK households to support the BBC’s operations.

BBC’s other Twitter handles with even more subscribers don’t have the new tag. The BBC News and BBC Sports pages don’t show any labels for now. 

Twitter’s Definition of State-Affiliated Media

Clicking on any of the labels applied by Twitter takes you to the platform’s support page for labels. Twitter defines “state-affiliated media” as outlets over which the state exercises control of editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or production and distribution control.

According to Twitter, accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled. Additionally, Twitter may add labels to tweets that share links to state-affiliated media websites.

However, there is currently no description of the “Government Funded Media” label on the page.

Information Source:- indiatoday

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