NPR said it’s quitting Twitter after the social media platform labeled the news organization as “state-affiliated media” last week.
Twitter later changed the label to “government-funded media,” but NPR said the labels “undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent.”
“We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” NPR said in a statement to CBS News.
The labels are misleading, NPR said, because the radio network is a private, editorially independent nonprofit that receives less than 1% of its annual budget from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is federally funded. NPR’s decision to step back from Twitter comes several months after scores of top advertisers left the platform in the wake of billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover in October.
The “state-affiliated media” label has been used by Twitter to label propaganda outlets in China and Russia, such as China’s CGTN, which is tagged by the social media service as “China state affiliated media.”
“Much more hate-filled outlet”
“At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” NPR CEO John Lansing said in an NPR interview. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”
Lansing said that NPR’s individual journalists can decide for themselves whether they want to remain on Twitter. The decision to quit Twitter impacts the news service’s 52 official accounts on the platform.
Twitter continues to struggle with a loss of advertisers following Musk’s takeover of the company, when he slashed thousands of jobs and allowed some formerly banned accounts back on the platform, according to Slate associate business and tech writer Nitish Pahwa.
“No one answers the calls in the Twitter office, and it’s just a much more hate-filled outlet,” Pahwa told CBS Mornings. “You aren’t going to see a lot of advertisers want to put their ads near tweets like that.”
Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
Create your free account or log in
for more features.