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Twitter slams ‘govt-funded’ label on ABC, other news outlets

Twitter unveils feature for emoji reactions in DMs

Twitter is adding more “government-funded media” labels to international news organisations’ accounts.

ABC Australia, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, New Zealand’s public broadcaster RNZ, Sweden’s SR Ekot and SVT, and Catalonia’s are among them.

“For more than 90 years the ABC has always been and remains an independent media organization, free from political and commercial interests,” the ABC said in response to the change on Twitter.

Meanwhile, SBS spokespeople expressed concern that the branding would mislead Twitter users into believing that the channel is editorially controlled by the government, which it is not.

“While we appreciate Twitter’s motivations with regard to transparency on its platform, we believe a ‘Publicly-funded media’ label better reflects the hybrid public-commercial nature of our funding model and the fact that SBS retains full independence from government in our news editorial and content decision making,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Twitter provided the BBC with this “publicly-funded” label, which appears to be less deceptive than “government-funded.”

Nonetheless, Twitter assigned the “government-funded” moniker to NPR, a network that receives 1% of its income from the US government after previously labelling the news outlet as “state-affiliated,” a category reserved for media such as Russia’s RT. This move led NPR to quit the platform.Since taking over ownership of Twitter, Elon Musk has been implementing changes, and subscription to Twitter Blue is the latest.

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