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NPR pulls out of Twitter to name the social media account

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National Public Radio has left Twitter due to recent actions by owner Elon Musk’s social media company to label it with labels that the news agency says are intended to undermine its credibility.

“NPR regulatory 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,” the news agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

Last week, Twitter referred to NPR’s main account as “state media” on the social networking site, a designation also used to identify media outlets controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments. Then Twitter changed the label to “government-funded media” and gave it to at least one other public news organization, the BBC.

“We do not position our journalism on platforms that have shown an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” the NPR statement said.

“NPR journalists and staff will decide for themselves whether they wish to remain on the platform, as will NPR member stations that they own and operate independently,” NPR’s director of communications, Isabel Lara, said in an email.

NPR receives funding from the United States government through grants from federal agencies and departments, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That’s less than 1% of NPR’s annual operating budget, the company said.

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New Twitter labels often appeared arbitrarily. NPR was flagged as “State” after Musk participated in a public conversation about NPR on Twitter, then deleted mention of NPR, but left the BBC, on a webpage where he explained why they didn’t get that designation.

Not all stickers obtained

NPR, the BBC and some other groups have since given it the “government-funded” designation, but it hasn’t done the same for many other public outlets, such as its Canadian and Australian counterparts.

In an interview Tuesday with the BBC’s technology correspondent at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, Musk acknowledged that the British news agency was “not happy” with the state labels and asked for the journalist’s opinion.

“Our goal was to be as honest and accurate as possible,” Musk said. “So I think we’re adjusting the designation to be ‘state funded,’ which I think is probably not objectionable.” We are trying to be specific. »

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