PBS and NPR Leave Twitter Over Government Affiliation Labeling

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has joined National Public Radio (NPR) in leaving Twitter, after the social media platform identified both organizations as government-affiliated media. Following Twitter’s decision to label NPR as “state-affiliated media,” the broadcaster suspended tweets from its main account and subsequently left the platform.

PBS similarly halted its Twitter activity upon learning of the labeling and has no plans to resume at present. Both organizations have criticized Twitter’s decision, with NPR stating that the platform’s actions undermine its editorial independence.

The departures come amid ongoing criticism of Twitter’s labeling practices, with Elon Musk referring to the labeling of NPR as a mistake and suggesting an alternative “publicly funded” label.

In a short statement, NPR said all its organisational 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”.

In a final tweet, NPR advised its followers that there are alternative ways to access its news, music, and cultural content, linking to other platforms. This comes after the broadcaster announced its departure from Twitter following the platform’s decision to label it as “government-funded media.”

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has a long-standing negative view of the news media, tweeted his support for the movement to “defund @NPR” on Wednesday, and recently added an automatic response of a poop emoji to email inquiries from journalists.

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