National Public Radio has announced it will stop posting new content on its Twitter feeds after being inaccurately labeled as "state-affiliated media," and "government-funded media." File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
April 12 (UPI) -- National Public Radio has announced it will stop posting new content to Twitter after being inaccurately labeled as "state-affiliated media," a warning often applied to media outlets controlled by authoritarian governments such as Russia, China, and Iran.
The 52 official Twitter accounts associated with NPR will now fall silent as a result of the the company's decision on Wednesday.
The label, which appeared last week, was surprising to many because NPR is a private nonprofit.
Twitter owner, Elon Musk said the label may have been in error after being asked about the label by NPR reporter Bobby Allyn.
The label was changed to "government-funded media," a characterization NPR also disputes because it only receives a fraction of its financing through the government-sponsored Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
NPR CEO John Lansing, said, "At this point, I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter," but added the company will give Twitter a "two-week grace period" to revise the decision.
Lansing emailed NPR staff, saying, "It would be a disservice to the serious work you all do here to continue to share it on a platform that is associating the federal charter for public media with an abandoning of editorial independence or standards."
NPR is the only media outlet grappling with decisions made at the social-media company.
In an interview with BBC, Musk admitted to slashing Twitter's workforce from 8,000 to 1,500 since taking control of the company in October. He also said he had "a lot of respect for the BBC," and asked for feedback after the British Broadcasting Corporation also raised objections to being labeled as "government-funded media."
The BBC contacted Twitter in response to the label, saying, "The BBC is and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licensing fee."
Musk then said he would change the BBC's "government funded media," label to "publicly funded."