After briefly being labeled “state-affiliated media,” NPR has decided to abandon Twitter.
Under the leadership of entrepreneur Elon Musk, Twitter attached a descriptor to the account associated with National Public Radio, characterizing the account as “state-affiliated media.”
After swift backlash, though, the social media site exchanged the label for a different, more accurate one: “Government-funded media.”
Supporters of NPR were angered by Twitter’s original label, seemingly lumping the U.S. news outlet in with sites like Russia Today (RT) and China’s Xinhua News Agency.
Apparently displeased with both designations, NPR announced Wednesday it was suspending its Twitter accounts.
A news article from NPR reported, “NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter’s decision to first label the network ‘state-affiliated media,’ the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China, and other autocratic countries.”
NPR will “no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” the outlet said in a statement.
John Lansing, CEO of NPR, told the news site he leads abandoning Twitter is about “protecting” NPR’s “ability to produce journalism without ‘a shadow of negativity.'”
“At this point, I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” he continued. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”
When NPR was first labeled “state-affiliated media,” Musk defended the decision, stating the outlet met Twitter’s standard for “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”
At the time, Lansing responded, “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.”
Musk has not yet responded to news of NPR’s decision to leave Twitter.
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