UPDATE: The BBC has said it is speaking to Twitter in an effort to change the “government funded media” tag on its official account. A spokesman said: “We are speaking to Twitter to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee.”
PREVIOUS: Elon Musk’s Twitter has labeled the BBC as being “government funded media.”
The social media network made the change to the official @BBC account after stirring controversy by adding a similar tag to the NPR account in recent days.
The BBC account has 2.2M followers. At the time of publication (4PM PST, April 8), the BBC’s news accounts on Twitter did not feature the “government funded” tag.
The BBC is not funded by the UK government. It is funded by the British public, through a system known as the license fee.
The government plays a role in setting the level of the license fee, but the fee is collected by the companies contracted by the BBC through the TV Licensing authority.
The BBC’s operations and editorial decision-making are entirely independent of the government.
Musk would have a case for labeling the @BBCWorldService account as government-funded as the state does contribute some funding for audiences outside of the UK. The @BBC account does not tweet about World Service operations.
Deadline contacted Twitter for comment. The company’s press account automatically responded with a poop emoji. The BBC has been contacted for comment.