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By Dave Van Zandt

The BBC is objecting to a new label describing it as “government funded media” on one of its main Twitter accounts.

The corporation says it is speaking to the social media company about the designation on the @BBC account to “resolve this issue as soon as possible”.

In a statement, it said: “The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee.”

Twitter has been contacted for comment.

BBC Twitter

In the UK, paying a £159 ($197) annual license fee to watch live TV broadcasts or live streaming is a legal requirement. Although set by the government, the fee is paid for by individual UK households. The Twitter account for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has recently been labeled as “government-funded media” by Twitter. The label is used for “state-affiliated media accounts” where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.

The BBC Charter states the corporation must be independent, particularly over editorial and creative decisions, the times and manner in which its output and services are supplied, and in the management of its affairs. Twitter’s labeling of the BBC’s account follows a similar action taken against US public broadcaster NPR’s account. The license fee, which accounted for about 71% of the BBC’s total income of £5.3bn in 2022, is collected by private companies contracted by the corporation, not the UK government.

On Sunday, NPR’s rating was changed to “Government Funded” from “State Affiliated” after Musk admitted he was wrong.


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