Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fired back at Twitter CEO Elon Musk after his platform applied his latest government-funded disclaimer to the country’s largest public news organization.
In his comments, Trudeau criticized Musk for labeling the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) as “69% government-funded media” after CBC claimed to receive less than 70% of its revenue from taxpayers. The label, Trudeau accused, delegitimizes public broadcasting efforts to inform the general public.
“When they’re trying to attack a foundational Canadian institution, the fact that he has to run to American billionaires for support to attack Canadians says a lot about Mr. Poilievre and his values,” Trudeau said on Monday, reports The Post Millennial. Pierre Poilievre is the leader of Canada’s conservative opposition party.
Justin Trudeau isn’t too happy that Twitter labelled @CBC “Government-Funded Media” 🤣
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) April 17, 2023
Despite receiving $1.2 billion a year in government subsidies, CBC on Monday declared it would be temporarily pausing its Twitter account to protest the company’s latest move to “stamp public broadcasters with designations.”
CBC/Radio-Canada has paused activities on its corporate and news Twitter accounts, after the social media platform put a "government-funded media" label on its @CBC account, in its latest move to stamp public broadcasters with designations. https://t.co/NcndZXiDj5
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) April 17, 2023
The controversy swirling around Twitter’s government-funded label began weeks ago when Musk labeled National Public Radio (NPR) as “state media,” causing the United States’ most high-profile, publicly-funded news organization to cancel its Twitter account as well as dozens of others for its local affiliates. After applying the same designation to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Musk later switched the label to “publicly-funded” to match how the BBC describes itself on its website.
Musk has been a vocal critic of bias in news organizations. He has spoken publicly about efforts to “cancel” the creator of popular comic strip “Dilbert” for expressing conservative political views and has pledged to create a “TruthGPT” artificial intelligence to combat “politically correct” AIs with perceived biases.
Asked about the controversy in April, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended NPR as well as PBS, which followed with its own purge of Twitter accounts, saying the organizations’ “hard-hitting independent nature of their coverage speaks for itself.”