Elon Musk Slaps NPR Twitter Account with ‘GOVERNMENT FUNDED MEDIA’ Label

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Elon Musk Slaps NPR Twitter Account with GOVERNMENT FUNDED MEDIA Label

Twitter CEO Elon Musk removed the “state-affiliated media” on the official National Public Radio (NPR) account and replaced it with a more “accurate” “government-funded media” label.

Last week, NPR was initially slapped with the “state-affiliated media” label before Twitter faced pressure to pull the label.

Other media Twitter accounts with the label include Russian state-owned TASS, China’s official state news agency Xinhua, and Russian state-controlled RT.

Since Elon Musk slapped NPR with the initial “state-affiliated media” label, the outlet’s Twitter account has not shared any tweets.

NPR President and CEO John Lansing released a statement condemning the initial designation.

“We were disturbed to see last night that Twitter has labeled NPR as ‘state-affiliated media,’ a description that, per Twitter’s own guidelines, does not apply to NPR,” Lansing wrote on Wednesday.

“NPR and our member stations are supported by millions of listeners who depend on us for the independent, fact-based journalism we provide. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”

NPR updated its Twitter bio after Elon Musk slapped the account with the label; this is what it said:

“NPR is an independent news organization committed to informing the public about the world around us. You can find us every other place you read the news.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rushed to NPR’s defense after a reporter asked her about it on Wednesday.

“Social media companies make their own independent decisions about content rules, so I won’t comment on Twitter’s rules, but what I will say, more broadly, I’ll say there’s no doubt of the independence of NPR’s journalists,” Jean-Pierre said.

“If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of their questions you know that they have their independence in journalism. NPR journalists work digitally to hold public officials accountable and inform the American people.” She continued. “The hard-hitting independence nature of their coverage speaks for itself. And so, I’ll leave it there.”

Musk seemed to endorse the “state-affiliated media” designation, adding it “Seems accurate.”

Twitter defines “state-affiliated media” 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.”

However, Twitter’s Help Center added that “[s]tate-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy.”

NPR correspondent David Gura tweeted that Twitter’s policy was changed to remove any mention of the news publication.

The Help Center’s information was later updated to again include NPR as a “[s]tate-financed” media organization along with the BBC.

On Thursday, Musk acknowledged that the NPR’s label may not have been accurate.

“The operating principle at new Twitter is simply fair and equal treatment, so if we label non-US accounts as govt, then we should do the same for US, but it sounds like that might not be accurate here,” Musk said in an email, according to NPR.

The “government-funded media” label now also appears on the official Twitter account of PBS.

Last week, The New York Times became the first large account to lose its legacy verification.

As The Daily Fetched reported, NYT had a yellow check mark prior to April 1st but no longer has any verification.

Last month, Twitter announced, “On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue.”

CNN’s Oliver Darcey reported that the New York Times said it would not pay a monthly fee for its Twitter account.

READ: Elon Musk Gives Brutal Response to Joe Biden’s Claim that Billionaires Don’t Pay Their Fair Share

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Brent Tharp
Brent Tharp
1 year ago

NPR hasn’t been independent for decades.

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