NPR Quits Twitter

CNBC posted an article titled: “NPR quits Twitter, becoming first major U.S. news outlet to do so”. NPR said Wednesday it will stop sharing content on Twitter after the social media company labeled NPR “state-affiliated media,” a term also used for Russia- and China-based propaganda outlets.

CNBC reported that the news outlet’s organizational accounts will no longer post new content on its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major U.S. news organization to do so since Elon Musk took over Twitter late last year.

NPR was surprised by Twitter’s decision to label the company “state-affiliated media,” according to a report by the outlet. Here is part of what NPR wrote about that:

…The decision by Twitter last week took the public radio network off guard. When queried by NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn, Twitter owner Elon Musk asked how NPR functioned. Must allowed that he might have gotten it wrong.

Twitter then revised it’s label on NPR’s account to “government-funded media.” The news organization says that it inaccurate and misleading, given that NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence. It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

By going silent on Twitter, NPR chief executive says the network is protecting its credibility and its ability to produce journalism without “a shadow of negativity.”…

NPR did not immediately respond to requests for comment by CNBC. Twitter responded to a request for comment with a poop emoji.

NPR plans to shut down its official Twitter accounts, saying a recent decision by the Elon Musk-owned platform to label it as “government-funded media” undermines its credibility, NBC News reported. NPR said that Twitter was “falsely implying that we are not editorially independent.”

“We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” NPR said in a statement Wednesday.

In a separate statement, NPR CEO John Lansing said, “Actions by Twitter or other social media companies to tarnish the independence of any public media institution are exceptionally harmful and set a dangerous precedent.”

According to NBC News, Twitter and Musk did not immediately return requests for comment.

The decision to label NPR’s account as “government-funded media” came after Musk and Twitter initially labeled NPR’s account “U.S. state-affiliated media,” a designation customarily used for media outlets with direct ties to government entities, like Russia Today, or RT, and China’s Xinhua.

On April 12, Elon Musk tweeted a screenshot from Bobby Allyn, who wrote: “Re: why state label” Because of the label, NPR is quitting Twitter across all of our 50+ accounts. Our executives say the government-funded media label calls into question our editorial independence and undermines our credibility.

Some wonder if this will cause a chain reaction among news orgs.

What’s your reaction?

Elon Musk responded with “Defund @NPR”.

In my opinion, it appears that Mr. Musk has not only labeled NPR as “government-funded media” but also labeled the BBC that way. It is unclear to me why Elon Musk keeps making that mistake over and over again.