Twitter’s recent move to label the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a “government-funded media” has sparked objections from the broadcaster. The social media platform’s definition of “government-funded media” includes outlets that are subject to editorial control by the state through financial resources, political pressures, or production and distribution control. At present, only the main BBC account bears the label, while subsidiaries such as BBC News and BBC World are identified as “official organizations on Twitter.”
BBC has asserted that it is an independent broadcaster and is funded by the public through a license fee. The London-based media house has also emphasized its editorial and creative independence. The label “government-funded media” was earlier applied to broadcasters such as Russia’s RT and China’s Xinhua News. However, Twitter has also included America’s National Public Radio (NPR) in this category, prompting objections from NPR and its threat to stop tweeting until the badge is removed from its account.
BBC has engaged with Twitter to address the issue, stating that it seeks a resolution as soon as possible. The labeling of media outlets as “government-funded” raises questions about their editorial independence and the extent of state influence. The controversy highlights the need for social media platforms to exercise caution and sensitivity in labeling media organizations, particularly in instances where the accuracy of such labels is contested.