Tue, 12 December 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Twitter removes 'government-funded' media labels

Update : 22 Apr 2023, 11:53

Elon Musk's Twitter stopped providing information about the funding of media organizations after conflicts with various broadcasters over the practice.

Social networking platform Twitter on Friday removed labels describing media organizations as state-funded or affiliated with the state.

The move comes after the Elon Musk-owned platform started stripping blue verification checkmarks from accounts that don't pay a monthly fee.

The move means that Chinese news agency Xinhua will no longer be referred to as state-financed. The same applies to RT (formerly Russia Today), the television broadcaster widely seen as a Kremlin propaganda outlet.

Conflicts with media organizations
Twitter introduced the labels to highlight possible state influence on the media outlet concerned. However, Musk then became involved in clashes with various public broadcasters.

Twitter referred to National Public Radio (NPR) of the United States as state-controlled and subsequently as state-funded. NPR responded that it is editorially independent and drew less than 1% of its $300 million (€273 million) annual budget directly from state funds.

Similar conflicts with Britain's BBC, Canada's CBC and US broadcaster PBS followed. Some of the broadcasters responded by suspending their Twitter accounts.

No more free blue checks
Meanwhile, many of Twitter's high-profile users on Thursday lost the blue checks that helped verify their identity and distinguish them from impostors.

Twitter had about 300,000 verified users under the original blue-check system. Many of them were journalists, athletes and public figures. The checks used to mean Twitter verified the account to be that of who it said it was.

The costs of keeping the marks range from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly to verify an organization, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account. Twitter does not verify the individual accounts, as was the case with the previous blue check doled out during the platform's pre-Musk administration.

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