US broadcaster NPR quits Twitter after 'state-affiliated' row

US broadcaster NPR quits Twitter after 'state-affiliated' row

NPR says it will "no longer remain active" on Twitter, accusing the platform owned by Elon Musk of undermining its credibility and sowing doubt over its editorial independence
NPR says it will "no longer remain active" on Twitter, accusing the platform owned by Elon Musk of undermining its credibility and sowing doubt over its editorial independence. Photo: Saul LOEB / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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US radio broadcaster NPR on Wednesday said it would "no longer remain active" on Twitter, accusing the platform owned by Elon Musk of undermining its credibility and sowing doubt over its editorial independence.

National Public Radio's clean break from Twitter comes after the highly respected news broadcaster had already suspended tweets from its main account when it received a label on the platform that said it was "state-affiliated media."

That designation is the same as given to state media in authoritarian countries such as Russia and China, and after some pushback Twitter modified its label for NPR to "government-funded media," which it applied to Britain's BBC as well.

In a short statement, NPR said all its organizational 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."

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It added that "there are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR's news, music, and cultural content," urging users to other platforms.

Musk has expressed deep disdain for news media for years and recently installed an automatic response of a poop emoji to emailed inquiries from journalists.

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The tycoon indicated in a BBC interview on Tuesday that the label decision was a mistake and that he would consider changing it to "publicly-funded."

He also addressed Twitter's controversial move to strip the New York Times of its blue verified check mark after the company refused to pay to keep it.

From April 20, any legacy verified accounts on Twitter -- which were verified as authentic under the company's old ownership -- will have to pay to subscribe to Twitter Blue.

One of the reasons for this, Musk said, was that he does not want Twitter to boost "some anointed class of journalists" who determine what constitutes news.

Source: AFP

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