Elon Musk gives NPR, BBC ‘Government Funded Media’ Twitter label

Elon Musk gives NPR, BBC ‘Government Funded Media’ Twitter label

Following days of criticism, Twitter quietly modified its label for NPR on Saturday. Now, as an alternative of “US state-affiliated media,” the label reads “Authorities Funded Media.” 

Voice of America and the BBC have been additionally given the label.

NPR stopped tweeting on Tuesday, the identical day Twitter utilized the “state-affiliated media” label, much like the one for China’s closely state-controlled media. NPR will get lower than 1% of its annual finances, on common, from federal sources.

“NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the highly effective accountable,” NPR CEO John Lansing said. “It’s unacceptable for Twitter to label us this manner. A vigorous, vibrant free press is crucial to the well being of our democracy.”

The BBC takes subject with the “Authorities Funded Media” label and has contacted Twitter to request its removing, in line with Deadline. “The BBC is, and at all times has been, unbiased. We’re funded by the British public by the licence price,” a spokesperson instructed Deadline.

NPR is a favourite goal of conservatives who accuse it of liberal bias. On Fox Information, Tucker Carlson on Thursday hailed Musk as a “hero” for giving NPR the “state-affiliated media” label. “That’s the identical class as Russia In the present day or China Central Tv. It signifies that NPR isn’t that completely different from the Tehran Instances, with the exception, in fact, being much less correct and extra anti-American,” Carlson mentioned. 

Musk himself appeared much less positive of the label. In an electronic mail trade with NPR enterprise reporter Bobby Allyn on Thursday, Allyn famous NPR was public media, not state-affiliated, and Musk replied, “Nicely, then we must always repair it.” Musk requested Allyn for a breakdown of NPR funding, and he added, “The working precept at new Twitter is just truthful and equal therapy, so if we label non-US accounts as govt, then we must always do the identical for US, nevertheless it feels like which may not be correct right here.”

Twitter hit NPR with the “state-affiliated media” days after eradicating the blue verification checkmark for the New York Instances, of which Musk has been a frequent critic. The test mark had beforehand been given to notable accounts at no cost however now requires a month-to-month price, which the Instances has indicated it received’t pay. Musk wrote of the Instances earlier this month, “Their propaganda isn’t even attention-grabbing.”

Clicking on the “Authorities Funded Media” label results in a web page that at present doesn’t clarify what the label means. However Musk mentioned Twitter is “making use of it to a bigger variety of establishments,” in line with Allyn.

Fortune reached out to Twitter and NPR for feedback on Sunday however obtained no instant replies. Twitter disbanded its media relations group in November and not replies to press inquiries. 

NPR has not resumed tweeting as of Sunday.

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