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Sparks fly as BBC objects to Twitter state-funded designation

Robert Carter
Press TV, London

A row between social media giant Twitter and the British broadcaster the BBC erupted this week after the UK state channel was branded "government-funded media" on its main Twitter page.

The move was initially defended by the owner of Twitter, Billionaire Elon Musk who even mocked the branding with a series of Tweets.

Later Musk claimed that all media is bias, but that he believed the BBC was, "among the least biased".

The UK state broadcaster objected to Musk's decision and contacted Twitter directly. On Wednesday, a BBC journalist challenged Musk during an interview. However, the interview didn't go as planned.

Before Musk's 2022 takeover of Twitter, the site had long been branding news channels and their journalists as "state affiliated", but only applied these rules to media from countries at odds with the west; Iran, Russia and China being the main focus.

The designations would often be accompanied by shadow bans or total page closures. A former British lawmaker and TV presenter Chris Williamson was one of those affected by Twitter's censorship.

Despite Musks criticism of western mainstream media, he has agreed to what appears to be a compromise and re-word the designation to "public funded" instead, suggesting that broadcasters like the BBC will unlikely ever face the same treatment as their Eastern counterparts have on the social media site.

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