Twitter has removed labels that described prominent news organizations as “government-funded” or “state-affiliated” after NPR and public broadcasters in several countries found the labels misleading. was criticized and suspended from using their Twitter accounts.
The removal of the labels was the latest change that Twitter has made suddenly and without explanation under the leadership of its owner, Elon Musk.
Twitter made the change a day after launch. Remove checkmark icons From the profiles of thousands of celebrities, politicians and journalists whose identities Mr. Musk confirmed before he bought the company for $44 billion in October. Twitter, which automatically responds to press inquiries via email with a poop emoji, had no immediate comment Friday.
NPR Reported That Mr. Musk said in an email that Twitter had dropped all media labels and that “this was Walter Isaacson’s suggestion,” apparently referring to the author and former media executive who is working on it. A book about Mr. Musk. Mr. Isaacson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
NPR said last week that it would. Suspend all use of Twitter. After the social network Nominee Broadcaster “US state-affiliated media.”
Twitter then changed the label on the NPR Twitter account to “government-funded media”. He gave the same position to PBS, which also said it would stop tweeting from its account.
NPR said last week that it had received less than 1 percent of that. Annual operating budget In the form of government-funded grants to public broadcasters and other federal agencies and departments. It said its two biggest sources of revenue are corporate sponsorships and fees paid by member stations, which rely heavily on listener donations.
PBS says. Its website That, because it is commercial-free, many people mistakenly believe that the government provides most of its funding. But the broadcaster said federal funding accounts for only 15 percent of its revenue.
Twitter also applied the label “government-funded media” to the account of the BBC, the UK’s national broadcaster, until it was changed to “publicly funded media”. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Did you object? On Mr. Musk’s decision to label it69% government funded media“And said it was Stopping Using his Twitter account.
I A statement Released Thursday, the Global Task Force, a group representing national public broadcasters from eight countries, including Canada, Britain and France, accused Twitter of four of its members as “government-funded media.” Objected to being labeled as
The group said the “misleading label” was applied “without warning or consultation” to the Twitter accounts of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC/Radio-Canada, the Korean Broadcasting System and Radio New Zealand. The editorial freedom of all four broadcasters is protected by law and enshrined in their editorial policies, the statement said.
“Labeling them as such misleads the audience about their operational and editorial independence from the government,” the group said.
The argument was similar to that made by NPR’s chief communications officer, Isabelle Lara, who said last week that “NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is doing so.” Who is out to damage our reputation by falsely saying we are not. Editorially independent.”
As of Friday, Twitter had removed “government-funded” labels from the accounts of NPR, BBC, PBS, CBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The Twitter accounts of China’s state news agency Xinhua and Russia’s state media outlet RT have also been stripped of the “state-affiliated media” label. A page on Twitter’s website detailing its policy on media labels has been removed.
NPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, but NPR Chief Executive John Lansing said the broadcaster would not immediately return to Twitter, even if “government-funded media ” label should be removed.
“It will take me a while to understand if Twitter can be trusted again,” he said an interview Last week on NPR.
PBS declined to comment Friday. “We are reviewing this latest development and will suspend our Twitter accounts before taking any further steps,” CBC said in an email.