In response to questions from reporters over the weekend, Musk tweeted, “Technically, Twitter should have that label.”
Musk’s comment follows the release of details made public about Twitter colluding with certain sectors of the U.S. government prior to his buying the platform, which was finalized in October of that year
His updated Twitter bio also came after he was asked whether specific media accounts should have a “state-affiliated media” label like China Global Television Network on Twitter.
This also follows as Musk has been criticizing “corporate journalism” for hypocritically defending the state instead of “the people.”
Twitter’s online help center includes a definition for state-affiliated media.
“State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” according to the center.
“Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled,” it said.
“State-financed media organizations 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.”
Despite the above, Musk said via Twitter, “Kudos to the BBC for self-labelling its state affiliation,” on Jan. 16.
Government and Big Tech Collusion
This has all occurred as Musk has been releasing the “Twitter Files,” which have revealed collusion between U.S. government intelligence agencies, federal law enforcement, and Twitter management, often on behalf of the Democrat party in its attempt to undermine former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Several government entities were involved in censoring and influencing social media content with the support of Twitter’s staff, according to the files published by journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, who received them from Musk.
The released files mostly involve internal communications among Twitter executives and employees, who were assisting government agencies and key powerful figures in Washington before Musk bought the company.
It was also disclosed that prominent political figures tried to control what was posted on the platform before the change in Twitter’s ownership.
Some of the internal Twitter emails showed that Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign asked the company to remove certain posts involving his son, Hunter.
On Jan. 13, Taibbi announced an additional file dump, which disclosed that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was attempting to pressure the social media platform to censor critics while he was head of the House Intelligence Committee
As alluded to in its “state-affiliated media” policy, Twitter had an unwritten exemption for U.S. government-funded and controlled media accounts.
According to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Twitter was boosting such pro-government accounts as “authoritative” sources of news while suppressing those accounts deemed hostile by the Biden administration.
‘No Special Treatment’
As an absolute believer in free speech, Musk has said that he totally opposed government intervention in the media.
However, he briefly suspended several reporters at some mainstream publications for releasing information about the whereabouts of his private jet, stating, “No special treatment for corpo journalists anymore,” he said via Twitter.
Since he acquired Twitter last October, Musk has laid off over half of the workforce in his attempt to reform the social media platform.
In late December, he announced that he would step down as Twitter CEO if he could find someone “foolish” enough to take over his job.
Over the past three months, he has changed or added new features to the platform, including the $8 Twitter Blue subscription, which forced users to pay a fee to receive a blue checkmark.
Government institutions and government officials, as well as international organizations, now get a gray checkmark, while businesses use a gold checkmark, which labels it as “an official business account.”