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Global news sites get more “government-funded” branding on Twitter.

Photo: DADO RUVIC

Twitter brands more international news outlets, “government-funded media.” ABC Australia, SBS, RNZ, SR Ekot, SVT, and TV3.cat are examples.

“For more than 90 years the ABC has always been and remains an independent media organisation, free from political and commercial interests,” ABC tweeted in response to the change. SBS representatives worry that the branding would mislead Twitter users into thinking the outlet is government-controlled.

“While we appreciate Twitter’s motivations about 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.

Twitter labeled the BBC “publicly-funded,” which sounds less misleading than “government-funded.” NPR receives 1% of its financing from the U.S. government, yet Twitter nevertheless labels it “government-funded” (and at first, “state-affiliated,” like Russia’s RT). NPR left Twitter.

“At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” NPR CEO John Lansing told an NPR reporter. “I need time to decide if Twitter can be trusted.”

 

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