CBC "pauses" Twitter use after it gets the dreaded government tag

Following similar action by NPR and PBS, CBC–the Canadian Broadcasting Company–has suspended use of Twitter after the site attached the "government-funded media" flag to its account there. Though formally accurate, such tags historically indicate media whose editorial content is directly controlled by governments. Twitter boss Elon Musk had inaccurately attached the state affiliation tag to NPR, then changed the wording of the tag and applied it to other accounts after being informed of his mistake. Other companies receiving government funding, not least Musk's own, are not likewise tagged.

"Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way," said corporate spokesperson Leon Mar.

"Consequently, we will be pausing our activity on our corporate Twitter account and all CBC and Radio-Canada news-related accounts."

Musk's open about his hostility to mainstream media. This whole mini-imbroglio started out with him doing something impulsive and stupid (falsely claiming NPR was government-affiliated) but the unfolding outcome–critical media being undermined and intentionally marginalizing themselves–is a solid example of the "bad for business, good for the vibes" approach that characterize his intentions for Twitter. As dumb as it seems and likely is, it's all perfectly consistent with the very long history of what billionaires do with the media entities they buy.