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Canada’s CBC Pressured Social Media Platforms to Censor Content ‘Too many times to count’

Published: April 21, 2023
Pictured, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Twitter page after being labeled “Government-funded media,” on April 20, 2023. The outfit decided to “pause” all activity on the platform following the application of the label saying the label “undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do.” (Image: screenshot via Twitter)

According to reporting by independent Canadian media outlet, The Counter Signal, Canada’s embattled national broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) asked social media platforms to censor content so many times that “cataloging all instances would be too time-consuming.”

The CBC’s censoring was uncovered by Conservative member of parliament (MP) Dean Allison who, in March this year, submitted a request to federal departments as well as agencies and crown corporations to list all censorship requests made to social media platforms between January 2020 and February 2023.

The CBC responded that it had made “too many requests to count,” adding that, “CBC/Radio-Canada asked various social media platforms to act on social media content in the described period, to fix copyright infringement cases or to report platform violations.”

The response also stated, “An extensive manual search would be required to gather the information requested and remove any personal information. The results could only partially answer this request. This could not be accomplished in the time allotted for this request.”

Allison’s request was issued on Feb. 7 and a response was received on March 27. 

Other agencies and crown corporations responded that they have either made no requests for censorship or numerous.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) indicated that they had made a total of 21 requests to censor content on Twitter due to “offensive language.”

“Twitter denied PHAC 18 out of the 21 times,” The Counter Signal reported. 

The CBC regularly censors their comment sections. A recent CBC article reporting on Twitter’s move to label them “Government-funded media” had thousands of comments scrubbed from the article once comments were closed. 


In mid-April, Twitter, citing a need for transparency, began to label government-funded media outlets, just that, government-funded.

The CBC objected stating that the label  “undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do,” and announced they were pausing activity on the platform. 

The CBC hasn’t tweeted since April 17 when it wrote, “Our journalism is impartial and independent. To suggest otherwise is untrue. That is why we are pausing our activities on @Twitter.”

Many objected saying that the CBC was only partially government-funded prompting Twitter to amend the label to state, “70% government-funded media,” only to revise the label again to “69% government-funded media,” a move that was blasted as being a juvenile joke.

However, as of April 21, the label has disappeared as well as labels applied to other news organizations such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which previously was labeled, “Publicly-funded media.”

As of April 21, Musk has not commented on the reasoning behind removing the labels.