The ABC has hit back after Twitter updated the public broadcaster's social media page to include the tag, 'government-funded media'.The public broadca
The ABC has hit back after Twitter updated the public broadcaster’s social media page to include the tag, ‘government-funded media’.
The public broadcaster quickly attempted to correct the mistake after the update appeared involuntarily on the ABC News’ account on Monday.
‘FYI: The ABC is a publicly funded broadcaster, governed by the ABC Charter which is enshrined in legislation,’ the account tweeted.
‘For more than 90 years the ABC has always been and remains an independent media organisation, free from political and commercial interests.’
Twitter has added similar updates to the social media pages of several news outlets around the world in a bid to provide transparency on who funds the organisations.
Social media users were quick to jump onto the wagon and offer alternative and less appealing labels that they wanted to be added to ABC’s Twitter page.
The ABC has lashed out after Twitter updated the public broadcaster’s social media page and included the tag, ‘government-funded media’ (pictured, ABC investigative reporter Louise Milligan)
‘It should say state-controlled corrupt lying untrustworthy fake news leftist extremist media,’ one wrote.
Another suggested: ‘Chronically InnerCity Woke, Constipated with Green Advocacy & Political Bias?’
A shorter suggestion was ‘forced tax payer-funded propaganda’, while another chided Twitter that ‘they forgot to add the Left Wing Bias part’.
Another had a more sympathetic view of the national broadcaster.
‘Should read ABC kowtowed by the Coaltion who cut the funding but still enjoy full support and loyalty,’ the wrote.
Some thought the descriptive labels should be expanded to other media outlets.
‘When is Twitter going to start identifying media outlets owned by conservative, climate denying billionaires?’ Greens MP Adam Bandt wrote.
SBS, which is funded by a mix of government money and advertising revenues, has also expressed its displeasure at being given the ‘Government-Funded Media’ label.
Twitter says the new labels are to provide more transparency about who funds accounts that provide news and commentary.
The two other labels are ‘state-affiliated media’ and ‘publicly-funded media’, with the ‘government-funded’ designation being applied where ‘the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding’.
Twitter goes on to say the label means ‘governments may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content’.
The main ABC news account has been labelled as ‘Government-funded media’ by Twitter
The ABC was quick to give itself the description of being a ‘publicly funded broadcaster’
An ABC spokesperson said the broadcaster was ‘liaising with Twitter regarding changes to account verification and labels’.
Twitter’s new labels have upset other public broadcasters.
After initially labelling Britain’s BBC as ‘Government-funded’ Twitter backed down and changed the description to ‘publicly-funded’.
‘I know the BBC’s, for example, not thrilled about being labelled state-affiliated media,’ Twitter CEO Elon Musk said in an interveiw.
However, for America’s National Public Radio (NPR), which has a mix of public and private funding, Twitter has not changed the label which led to the station leaving the platform.
New Zealand’s Radio NZ also made this threat after being given the ‘government-funded media’ tag.
Radio NZ Head of Content Megan Whelan said Twitter’s definition gave the left open the false impression that the broadcaster was not totally independent.
‘Twitter’s own policy defines government-funded media as cases where the government ‘may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content’, which does not apply to RNZ,’ she said.
An ABC spokesperson told the Australian on Wednesday it would stay on the platform despite the involuntary update to its page.
Twitter owner Elon Musk says the social media platform’s new labels on new organisations provide context on where their funding comes from
‘The ABC doesn’t currently have any plans to shut down all its Twitter accounts,’ he said.
In February the ABC closed accounts for some its major news programs, such as ABC News Breakfast and Insiders.
A spokesperson denied this was due to trolling and said it was to rationalise the broadcaster’s presence on Twitter under the one main account.
‘We’re closing some of the ABC News program accounts and consolidating our activity in our main Twitter account, @abcnews, which has by far the most activity, followers and engagement with audiences,’ said a spokesman.
‘This is a better use of resources while still serving audiences on this platform.’
An ABC spokesperson declined to comment further on the matter when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.