What are the details?
NPR said in a statement that it will "no longer actively maintain its flagship Twitter (@NPR) or any other official NPR accounts, and we are officially deemphasizing Twitter across the organization."
NPR added that it made the move "after Twitter refused repeated requests to remove an inaccurate label designating NPR as 'state-affiliated media.' The label has since been changed to 'Government-Funded Media,' which does not accurately capture our public media governance structure and still sends Twitter users to an explanation that implies 'government involvement over editorial content.' We believe this label is intended to call in question our editorial independence and undermine our credibility. If we continued tweeting, every post would carry that misleading label."
The Associated Press said the "state-affiliated media" label is used to identify outlets controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments and that the “government-funded media” label also was given to the BBC.
No tweets from NPR’s main account had been posted since April 4, the AP said, adding that on Wednesday it tweeted other places online to find NPR work.
NPR’s chief communications officer, Isabel Lara, said in an email that “NPR journalists and employees will decide on their own if they wish to remain on the platform, same for NPR member stations as they’re independently owned and operated," the AP also said.
More from the AP:
NPR does receive U.S. government funding through grants from federal agencies and departments, along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The company said it accounts for less than 1% of NPR’s annual operating budget.
Twitter’s new labels have often appeared arbitrarily assigned. It tagged NPR with the “state-affiliated” label after Musk participated in a public conversation about NPR on Twitter, and then deleted mention of NPR, but left up BBC, on a web page where it described why they should not get that label.
Since then, it has given NPR, BBC and some other groups a “government-funded” label but hasn’t done the same for many other public media outlets, such as their counterparts in Canada and Australia.
How are folks reacting?
As you might expect a number of Twitter users reacted quite happily over NPR's announcement of its exit from Twitter:
- Conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong told NPR, "Don’t let the door hit you on the way out."
- Social media influencer Carpe Donktum quipped, "I made an everything bagel with garden veggie cream cheese for breakfast."
- Conservative figure and former Republican House candidate Kimberly Klacik replied, "This is not an airport. You don’t have to announce your departure."
- Baltimore cleanup organizer Scott Presler told NPR regarding its Twitter departure, "Excellent."
- Raheem Kassam, editor in chief of the National Pulse, added to NPR, "I don’t think 'government funded media' is the right label for you. I think it should be 'Regime Affiliated Media.'"
- Grabien founder Tom Elliott requested that NPR "please step away from media entirely."
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