Twitter drops 'government-funded' label on media accounts, including in China

Platform also removed legacy verified blue tick from the profile of thousands of people, including celebrities, journalists and politicians

By Reuters

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In this file photo taken on January 12, 2023 the Twitter logo at their offices in New York City.  — AFP
In this file photo taken on January 12, 2023 the Twitter logo at their offices in New York City. — AFP

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 3:07 PM

Last updated: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 3:08 PM

Social media platform also removed legacy verified blue tick from the profile of thousands of people, including celebrities, journalists and prominent politicians

Twitter dropped the "Government-funded" and "China state-affiliated" labels, which implies government involvement in editorial content, from the accounts of various global media organisations, their profiles showed on Friday.

Twitter dropped the "Government-funded Media" label from the accounts of US-based National Public Radio (NPR), British Broadcasting Corp and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

It also dropped the "China state-affiliated media" tag on the accounts of Xinhua News as well as of journalists associated with government-backed publications.

While Chinese publishers' accounts, including those of their senior staff as well as of some key government officials, started getting the label in 2020, the likes of NPR and CBC were labeled only earlier this month.

That led NPR and CBC to stop posting to their Twitter accounts, arguing that the label did not accurately capture their governance structure.

In a BBC interview last week, Twitter's billionaire owner Elon Musk said the social media platform was trying to be "accurate" and looking into amending the label.

"Our goal is simply to be as truthful and accurate as possible. We're adjusting the label to be 'publicly funded', which I think is perhaps not too objectionable," Musk had said.

Twitter, NPR, CBC and BBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the removal of the tag.

Twitter on Thursday also removed the legacy verified blue tick from the profile of thousands of people, including celebrities, journalists and prominent politicians such as Hillary Clinton.

Among those losing their badges were former US president Donald Trump, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and reality TV star Kim Kardashian.


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