Twitter Loses PBS and NPR Over “Government-backed Media” Label

Twitter’s characterization of PBS and NPR as “government-backed media” led to both networks’ departure, and PBS is now the second major American broadcaster to do so.

“PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change, and we have no plans to resume at this time,” Jason Phelps, a spokesman for PBS, stated in an email.

“We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.”

By announcing its departure from Twitter on Wednesday, NPR became the first major news institution to leave the social media site since Mr. Elon Musk’s turbulent acquisition.

The departure wraps up a weeklong spat over Twitter’s decision to designate NPR as “state-affiliated media,” classifying it among big media outlets in repressive nations like Russia and China.

Reputable in the United States, NPR stopped tweeting from its main account while it waited for Twitter to reverse course. When Twitter finally did, it simply changed NPR’s description to “government-funded media,” a designation it similarly gave to the BBC in Britain.

Briefly stating that all of its organizational accounts “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”.

It continued that “there are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music and cultural content”, directing its customers in a farewell tweet to alternative services.

For years, Mr. Musk has been vocal about his dislike for the media, and only later, he set up an automated response of a poop emoji to e-mails from journalists.

Mr. Musk tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, “Defund @NPR,” in reference to the “defund the police” campaign.

Twitter Loses PBS and NPR Over Government-backed Media Label
Twitter Loses PBS and NPR Over Government-backed Media Label


There has been a lot of difficulty for news organizations in weaning themselves off of the site, which continues to be a primary means of communication exchange for public figures and commentators.

NPR’s spokeswoman told AFP that the network’s journalists and radio stations take safety seriously, and “will be able to decide on their own if they want to stay on the platform”.

NPR’s withdrawal came only hours after Mr. Musk said in a BBC interview on Tuesday that he could change the designation to “publicly funded” after all.

The controversy over Twitter’s decision to remove the blue verified check mark from The New York Times after the newspaper declined to pay to maintain it was also addressed.

Verified accounts that predate the new ownership of Twitter, known as “legacy accounts,” will be required to pay for a subscription to Twitter Blue as of April 20.

Mr. Musk explained that one of the reasons for this is that he does not want Twitter to promote “some anointed class of journalists” who have the power to decide what should be considered news.

Six months after purchasing the firm for US$44 billion (S$58 billion), Mr. Musk said in an interview that operating the social network has been “quite a roller coaster” and that he has made “many mistakes” along the way.

Mr. Musk, reflecting on his time in charge, called it “a stressful situation over the last several months.”

“Were there many mistakes made along the way? Of course,” It was his words.But all’s well that ends well. I feel like we’re headed to a good place.”

Mr. Musk stated that the firm was “roughly breaking even” following a devastating wave of layoffs that reduced the workforce from 7,000 to 1,500 in preparation for the sale.

But the billionaire has denied the findings of studies and allegations that false information and vile content are on the rise on the site since he took control of it.

“You said you see more hateful content, but you can’t even name a single one,” Says Mr. Musk.“You just lied!”

Mr. Musk maintained his reputation as a hard-working workaholic willing to put personal obligations on hold for the sake of his career when he revealed that he frequently slept on a couch in Twitter’s headquarters.

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