NPR Dumps Twitter… While The BBC Speaks To Elon Musk

Last week, Twitter and their leader Elon Musk labeled both the BBC and NPR as “government-funded media” That move put them into the same category as Chinese media directly controlled by the Communist Party. Elon later walked that back after the predictable outrage. But it seems that the damage has been done. At least with NPR:

NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter’s decision to first label the network “state-affiliated media,” the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China and other autocratic countries. 

The decision by Twitter last week took the public radio network off guard. When queried by NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn, Twitter owner Elon Musk asked how NPR functioned. Musk allowed that he might have gotten it wrong. 

Twitter then revised its label on NPR’s account to “government-funded media.” The news organization says that is inaccurate and misleading, given that NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence. It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Yet by going silent on Twitter, NPR’s chief executive says the network is protecting its credibility and its ability to produce journalism without “a shadow of negativity.”

This could be the start of other news organizations dumping Twitter. Which will add to the death spiral that Twitter is already in as nobody wants to go someplace where there is no content to view. Perhaps Elon should have thought about that before he decided to slap “government-funded media” labels on both NPR and BBC.

Speaking of the BBC, they managed to somehow score a one hour interview with Elon where he goes into all sorts of detail about buying Twitter, his ill advised Tweets, and his claim that Twitter is making money and how Apple “feels comfortable” advertising on Twitter. I won’t pick any of that apart here. Instead, you can watch the full 1 hour interview here if you are in the UK or you have access to a VPN. Or you can watch the highlights here and judge for yourself:

UPDATE: Elon responds to NPR dumping Twitter with his usual maturity.

One Response to “NPR Dumps Twitter… While The BBC Speaks To Elon Musk”

  1. […] I wrote about NPR dumping Twitter because Elon Musk slapped a “government-funded media” label on their […]

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