Elon Musk-owned Twitter described the British broadcaster BBC as "government-funded media" on its profile page. Twitter designated the media house as one which is state-financed but with editorial independence in its policy. Shortly afterwards, the BBC objected to Twitter's label, saying it worked towards "public services" through licence fees.
Risking a row with the UK-based media house, Twitter defined the concept as, "State-financed media organisations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy."
In its , Twitter enumerated how the label was different from "state-affiliated media", stating the latter does not have content independence and the government exercised rights over the editorial. Twitter designated the BBC as "government-funded media" which is state-financed but with editorial independence.
Twitter, by the way, included America-based NPR as a government-funded media house in its policy section.
Objecting the move by Twitter, BBC has released statement that they are not "government funded" but "funded by the British public through the licence fee."
It may be noted that the $197 annual licence fee is required by British laws to watch live television broadcasts or streaming in the UK. It is a regulation set by the government and residents of UK households pay the amount to avail of the services.
In their statement, BBC has said that "The corporation has contacted the social media giant over the designation on the @BBC account to resolve the issue as soon as possible."
The @BBC account - which has 2.2 million followers - is currently branded as government funded. The label has not been given to the BBC's other accounts, including BBC News (World) and BBC Breaking News, reported CNN.
Taking a dig on the recent development, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has sparked further debate with a tweet.
In the tweet, Elon Musk has written, "What does BBC stand for again? I keep forgetting."
Since 1927, the BBC has operated through a Royal Charter agreed with the UK government which says that the corporation “must be independent” over “editorial and creative decisions, the times and manner in which its output and services are supplied, and in the management of its affairs”.