National Public Radio suspends all activity on Twitter effective immediately, after the public broadcaster said the Elon Musk-owned platform’s ‘government-funded media’ label on its account falsely implies NPR is not editorially independent of the US government.
Last week, Twitter added a label to NPR’s main account stating that it is “media affiliated with the US state”, which CEO John Lansing has been called “unacceptable”. The social network later amended that to say that NPR is “government-funded media.” According to NPR, on average, less than 1% of its annual operating budget comes from grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and federal agencies and departments.
“NPR organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter as the platform takes actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement. a statement. Variety. “We do not place our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and public understanding of our editorial independence.”
Twitter also recently added the “government-funded media” label to PBS and BBC accounts.
In a thread NPR posted on Twitter Wednesday, which are likely its last posts for now, detailing how fans can continue to follow the broadcaster online, including on other social platforms. “We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audience and communities,” the NPR rep said. “There are many ways to stay connected and follow NPR news, music and cultural content.”
Musk, the multi-billionaire who secured the $44 billion deal for Twitter in October 2022, gave an impromptu BBC interview on Tuesday in which he called his takeover of the company “quite painful” and said “I’ve been attacked constantly” since buying Twitter.
The BBC had objected to the “government funded” description on its Twitter account and called on the company to resolve the issue “as soon as possible”. In the BBC interview, Musk said Twitter would be ready to change BBC account label to say ‘state funded’ rather than “government funded”.
Meanwhile, Musk earlier this month retired the gold verification badge for The New York Times. Musk cited the Times public statement that he would not pay for a verified status on Twitter, which announced a program to charge businesses and brands $1,000 per month for checkmark verification (but apparently with exceptions for large accounts).
“I have to admit that I was delighted to pick up the verification badge from The New York Times,” Musk said in the BBC interview. “Anyway, they’re still alive and well, so they’re fine.”
In another attempt to generate revenue, Twitter said it was removing “legacy” blue check marks granted under the company’s previous criteria to celebrities and other notable people unless they pay for the Twitter Blue service ( starting at $8/month). Musk claimed ‘4/20’ will be the final date for Twitter’s removal of old blue checkmarks.