ABC in talk with Twitter over Government-Funded Media label
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is in talks with Twitter regarding a new “Government-Funded Media” label which emerged on its ABC News Twitter account overnight.
The broadcaster dispelled any suggestion of political influence and instead maintained it is “publicly funded”.
“The ABC is a publicly funded broadcaster, governed by the ABC Charter which is enshrined in legislation,” a statement read.
“For more than 90 years, the ABC has always been and remains an independent media organisation, free from political and commercial interests.”
In a statement to News.com.au, an ABC spokesperson said the broadcaster “is liaising with Twitter regarding changes to account verification and labels.”
ABC is the latest media organisation to be slapped with the label after the BBC, and the US national radio broadcaster NPR, were given similar brandings in recent days.
In Australia, broadcaster SBS has had its Twitter page slapped with the “Government-Funded Media” label.
After a high-profile objection, BBC successfully changed its label from “Government-Funded Media” to “Publicly-Funded Media” last week.
“I know the BBC for example’s not thrilled about being labelled state-affiliated media,” Twitter CEO Elon Musk said after the BBC strongly objected to the label.
“If we use the same words that the BBC uses to describe itself, that presumably would be OK – That seems to pass a reasonable test.
“I actually do have a lot of respect for the BBC.”
Last week NPR confirmed it would be “officially de-emphasising”, claiming that its “inaccurate label” sought to undermine its credibility.
“I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility,” CEO John Lansing said.
The ABC told news.com.au it has no such plans.
“The ABC doesn’t currently have any plans to shut down all its Twitter accounts,” a spokesperson said.
Twitter claims the labels are added to accounts to provide extra context for “accounts heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy.”
It currently has three labels – “Government-Funded Media”, “Publicly-funded media” and “State-Affiliated Media”.
It states: “Government-funded media is defined as outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.
“We may use external sources similar to this one in order to determine when this label is applied.
At the time of publication, it appeared only the ABC News account was subject to the label.