(Headline USA) NPR announced this week that it is quitting Twitter after the the social media company designated it as “state-affiliated” media.
The media outlet, which is partly funded by the U.S. government, told staffers in an email that its decision to stop sharing content on Twitter was one made out of respect for their “serious work.”
“It would be a disservice to the serious work you all do here to continue to share it on a platform that is associating the federal charter for public media with an abandoning of editorial independence or standards,” NPR CEO John Lansing wrote in an email, NBC News reported.
Lansing said that even if Twitter were to remove the “state-affiliated” label, he would not be convinced to reactivate the outlet’s account.
“At this point, I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” he said. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”
Individual NPR reporters and staffers can make their own decisions about whether to remain on Twitter, he added.
NPR was not the only publication slapped with a “state-affiliated” label. PBS and BBC were given a similar label, which heretofore has been used to identify propaganda outlets affiliated with authoritarian governments, such as Russia’s Sputnik.
Twitter revised the label to “government-funded media” after pushback from NPR, with CEO Elon Musk saying he wants to be as “accurate” as possible.
NPR literally says Federal funding is *essential* on their website right now at https://t.co/QA8TUZxmNO
What have you got against the truth @NPR? pic.twitter.com/3W0X0MsZYW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2023
Musk’s Twitter has become increasingly aggressive in pushing back on NPR’s propaganda, slapping many of its articles with fact checks. For example, a tweet from NPR in March questioning the World Athletics Council’s decision to ban transgenders from competing against biological women in international events received additional context from Twitter.
“Multiple studies on trans athletes (including elite athletes) have been conducted which show that they retain higher muscle mass, strength, and running speed than women,” Twitter said.