NPR has become one of the first media organization’s to voluntarily leave Twitter after falsely being labeled “state-affiliated media” last week.
The public radio outlet “paused” tweeting last week after the label was affixed to its accounts.
“NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by implying that we are not editorially independent,” it said in a statement. “We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence. We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audiences and communities. There are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music and cultural content.”
NPR had 52 Twitter accounts for its various programs and channels. Its main account has 8.8 million followers.
The privately owned non-profit receives less than 1% of its annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting. PBS and the BBC were given the same label.
“The downside, whatever the downside, doesn’t change that fact,” CEO John Lansing said in an interview. “I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility.”
Despite Musk backtracking and Twitter changing the label to “government-funded media,” Lansing said the company wouldn’t return even if the labels were dropped entirely.
“At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” he said. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”
Lansing said NPR staff would be free to continue using their personal Twitter accounts if they wished.
The new label for the media organization is the latest in a series of questionable decisions by CEO Elon Musk after his purchase of the social media platform. Earlier this week, he raised more eyebrows after announcing that legacy verified users would lose their blue checkmarks on April 20 and attempting to rename the company “titter.”
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