Thursday, June 8, 2023

RTVE charges against Twitter after labeling it as a “media financed by the Government”

The RTVE Corporation issued a statement where he manifests his disagreement with Twitter’s decision to tag them as “Government Funded Media”. The public radio and television of Spain indicated that the labels in the official accounts are wrong and contrary to their essence. “The Corporation reiterates editorial independence as one of its hallmarks,” he mentioned.

The Spanish Radio and Television explained how it is financed and asked Twitter to remove the tag or replace it by one that says “Publicly funded media”.

RTVE is a public medium that is financed through a general budget allocation approved by Parliament, as well as two other private sources of financing. Editorial independence and that of the workers of the Corporation by the Government or any body or representative of the Public Administration is protected by Law 17/2006, of June 5, on state-owned radio and television.


The RTVE is the most recent victim of Elon Musk’s crusade against the media in his new stage as CEO of Twitter. One of the most obvious cases is that of the BBCwho Twitter designated as a government-funded outlet a few days ago. After protests from the corporation, the tycoon gave up and changed the label to “publicly funded medium.”

Those who did not have the same luck were the NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), who received the same treatment as RTVE. The United States Public Broadcasting Service suspended his activities on Twitter after being labeled “Government Affiliated Media” and urged Elon Musk to reconsider this decision. After obtaining another designation, NPR made clear its journalistic independence and accused the social network of using a misleading designation.

Maybe the most surprising case is that of the CBCwhom Elon Musk tagged after a suggestion by Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. The politician accused CBC of obtaining 70% financing from the Government, to which Musk ignored. Following the Corporation’s protest, the tycoon mocked the broadcasting service with a label reading “69% Government Funded.”

Why did Twitter label RTVE?

The hashtags debuted some time ago on Twitter to designate official accounts, although they gained notoriety when they were applied to media outlets controlled by China and Russia.

In accordance with Twitter help page:

Example of a Twitter hashtag designating a government-affiliated outlet

How government-funded media accounts are defined

Government-funded media are defined as media where the government provides some or all of the media’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement in editorial content.

How publicly funded media accounts are defined

Publicly funded media refers to media organizations that receive funding from license fees, individual contributions, public funding, and commercial funding.


Until now, RTVE’s Twitter accountsRTVE News, RTVE Play and RTVE Communication and Participation are designated as government-funded outlets. Although the Corporation has already requested that the labels be removed, Elon Musk will likely ignore the request or scoff in a similar way to what he did with the CBC.

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