Twitter drops “Government-funded” and “China state-affiliated” labels from media accounts
Twitter has removed the labels “Government-funded Media” and “China state-affiliated media” from the accounts of several global media organizations, including the U.S.-based National Public Radio (NPR), British Broadcasting Corp, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and Xinhua News. The decision to remove the labels has come after several media outlets contested the labels and argued that they did not accurately capture their governance structure. Twitter’s owner Elon Musk also spoke about the platform’s effort to be “accurate” and the possibility of amending the labels in a recent BBC interview. Twitter, NPR, CBC, and BBC have not responded to the removal of the tags.
The “Government-funded Media” and “China state-affiliated media” labels were introduced by Twitter in August 2020 to flag media outlets that were either directly or indirectly controlled by government bodies. The labels aimed to provide transparency to the users about the sources of the information they were consuming on the platform. The introduction of these labels came amid growing concerns about the spread of misinformation and propaganda on social media platforms, particularly from state-backed sources.
The labels generated controversy when several media organizations, including NPR and CBC, received the “Government-funded Media” label earlier this month. Both outlets claimed that the labels did not accurately reflect their governance structures. In response, NPR and CBC stopped posting to their Twitter accounts. Other media organizations, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, also faced criticism for the labels. They argued that the labels could suggest a lack of editorial independence, which was not the case.
Twitter’s decision to drop the labels comes after its owner, Elon Musk, spoke about the platform’s effort to be “accurate” and consider changing the labels during a BBC interview. Twitter has now replaced the “Government-funded Media” label with the “Publicly Funded” label, which Musk suggests may be less objectionable. However, Twitter has not provided any explanation for dropping the “China state-affiliated media” label.
Legacy Verified Blue Tick
Twitter also recently removed the legacy verified blue tick from the profiles of thousands of people, including celebrities, journalists, and politicians such as former U.S. President Donald Trump, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates, and reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Twitter has not provided any explanation for this decision.
In conclusion, Twitter’s decision to drop the “Government-funded Media” and “China state-affiliated media” labels has generated mixed reactions. While some argue that these labels were necessary to provide transparency, others claim that they did not accurately reflect the governance structure of several media organizations. Twitter’s decision to replace the “Government-funded Media” label with the “Publicly Funded” label and drop the “China state-affiliated media” label may suggest that the platform is rethinking its approach to flagging sources of information on its platform.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Twitter and how does it work?Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to post short messages known as “tweets”. These tweets can contain text, images, and videos and are limited to 280 characters. Users can follow other users and see their tweets in their timeline. They can also like, retweet, and reply to tweets.
What is National Public Radio (NPR) and its role in the United States?National Public Radio (NPR) is a non-profit media organization in the United States that produces and distributes news, information, and cultural programming. It is funded by donations from listeners, grants from foundations, and corporate sponsors. NPR’s mission is to create a more informed public through journalism that is fact-based, nonpartisan, and independent.
What is Xinhua News and its significance in China?Xinhua News is the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China. It is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and is considered to be the largest media organization in China. Xinhua News provides news and information to media outlets, businesses, and government agencies both within China and around the world. Its coverage is often considered to be pro-government and reflects the official stance of the Chinese government.
Who is Elon Musk and what is his role in Twitter?Elon Musk is a billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX and Tesla. He is also a major shareholder and former CEO of Twitter. Musk has been vocal about his views on social media and has been critical of what he sees as censorship on platforms like Twitter. He has also been involved in controversial tweets that have led to lawsuits and public backlash.
What is the verified blue tick on Twitter and why was it removed from thousands of profiles?The verified blue tick is a symbol on Twitter that indicates that a user’s account has been verified as authentic by Twitter. It is intended to help users distinguish real accounts from fake ones. The blue tick was removed from thousands of profiles on Twitter in 2021 as part of a wider effort to improve the platform’s verification`