Elon Musk gives NPR, BBC ‘Government Funded Media’ Twitter label

Following days of criticism, Twitter quietly modified its label for NPR on Saturday. Now, as a substitute of “US state-affiliated media,” the label reads “Authorities Funded Media.” 

Voice of America and the BBC had been additionally given the label.

NPR stopped tweeting on Tuesday, the identical day Twitter utilized the “state-affiliated media” label, much like the one for China’s closely state-controlled media. NPR will get lower than 1% of its annual funds, on common, from federal sources.

“NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the highly effective accountable,” NPR CEO John Lansing acknowledged. “It’s unacceptable for Twitter to label us this manner. A vigorous, vibrant free press is crucial to the well being of our democracy.”

The BBC takes challenge with the “Authorities Funded Media” label and has contacted Twitter to request its elimination, in keeping with Deadline. “The BBC is, and all the time has been, impartial. We’re funded by the British public by the licence payment,” a spokesperson advised Deadline.

NPR is a favourite goal of conservatives who accuse it of liberal bias. On Fox Information, Tucker Carlson on Thursday hailed Musk as a “hero” for giving NPR the “state-affiliated media” label. “That’s the identical class as Russia Right this moment or China Central Tv. It signifies that NPR will not be that totally different from the Tehran Occasions, with the exception, after all, being much less correct and extra anti-American,” Carlson stated. 

Musk himself appeared much less positive of the label. In an e-mail trade with NPR enterprise reporter Bobby Allyn on Thursday, Allyn famous NPR was public media, not state-affiliated, and Musk replied, “Nicely, then we should always repair it.” Musk requested Allyn for a breakdown of NPR funding, and he added, “The working precept at new Twitter is just honest and equal therapy, so if we label non-US accounts as govt, then we should always do the identical for US, but it surely appears like which may not be correct right here.”

Twitter hit NPR with the “state-affiliated media” days after eradicating the blue verification checkmark for the New York Occasions, of which Musk has been a frequent critic. The verify mark had beforehand been given to notable accounts without cost however now requires a month-to-month payment, which the Occasions has indicated it received’t pay. Musk wrote of the Occasions earlier this month, “Their propaganda isn’t even fascinating.”

Clicking on the “Authorities Funded Media” label results in a web page that at present doesn’t clarify what the label means. However Musk stated Twitter is “making use of it to a bigger variety of establishments,” in keeping with Allyn.

Fortune reached out to Twitter and NPR for feedback on Sunday however acquired no speedy replies. Twitter disbanded its media relations crew in November and not replies to press inquiries. 

NPR has not resumed tweeting as of Sunday.

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