Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter in the fall of last year, he has been shaking up the once liberal social media site with free speech and transparency, as well as refining the blue checkmark system for certifying accounts.
Musk’s Twitter is also defining accounts, which some users welcome while others find offensive. Musk, with his customary brevity, has confirmed the labeling determinations for accounts.
Twitter took the decision in 2020 to identify several accounts, including Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, as “state-affiliated media” and to block tweets from these accounts from displaying on the home page, in alerts, or in searches.
Twitter said that it was doing so “to make the experience more transparent” and added, “we don’t let state-affiliated media accounts advertise on Twitter. We’ll also no longer include them or their Tweets in recommendations, as we continue to support a free and independent press.”
When it comes to conversations with government and state-affiliated media accounts on Twitter, we’re helping to make the experience more transparent.
We'll now use two distinct profile labels for these types of accounts, so you can easily identify them and their Tweets. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/JW67o422MO
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) August 6, 2020
At the time, NPR was not included in those classifications, but Twitter has now classified NPR as well, according to Summit News.
Twitter placed a label on NPR’s account Tuesday describing the outlet as “State-affiliated media,” with owner Elon Musk commenting that the description “seems accurate.”
BREAKING: Twitter just labelled NPR as US state media pic.twitter.com/PSNHKV7kMv
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 5, 2023
GET REKT @NPR
Nicely done, @elonmusk 🤣 pic.twitter.com/jvX15QWSf5
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 5, 2023
Twitter’s guidelines state “Labels on state-affiliated accounts provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities, and individuals associated with those entities.
Musk quoted Twitter’s Help Center, which notes that “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”
This labeling has not gone unnoticed by some. Summit News noted that “NPR comrades, such as Climate & Energy Correspondent Jeff Brady, were annoyed”:
Uh, no… pic.twitter.com/ki7vo9TIBi
— Jeff Brady (@jeffbradynews) April 5, 2023
Labeling @NPR state-affiliated media is wholly inaccurate and untruthful. NPR gets LESS THAN 2% of its funding from grants through the federal government. NPR’s newsroom is an absolutely free and independent newsroom; always has been. This label is a LIE and an insult. pic.twitter.com/2iS04hMeQ1
— Ashley Westerman (Valdez) (@_aswesterman) April 5, 2023
Others noted that Twitter’s guidelines also state that “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy.”
Twitter branding @NPR "state-affiliated media" literally conflicts with its own policy:
"State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media…" 🤯https://t.co/u2bg3QICMS pic.twitter.com/FOCrac61Jm
— Ben Pauker (@benpauker) April 5, 2023
BBC gets about 70% of its funding from the government (via license fees), NPR gets about 1-2%. Former is not listed as state-affiliate media, but NPR is. Along with deverifying NY Times, illustrates how Musk is the one running a propaganda outfit to fit with his political views. https://t.co/OjZabXAKz2
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) April 5, 2023
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“How much taxpayer funding NPR receives is unclear, with much of it being hidden in the form of grants, but estimates have suggested NPR’s budget is made up of 25 percent of taxpayer dollars, with its member stations receiving another 40 percent of public funds. Others argue it’s less than 2 percent,” Summit News related. CONTINUE READING..