September 29, 2023

National Public Radio said on Wednesday it was suspending all use of Twitter a little more than a week after the social network designated the broadcaster as a “National Affiliated Media of the United States.”

Twitter has changed the hashtag NPR Twitter account to “government-sponsored media,” which also gave the title PBS. This tag also appears in the bbcthe BBC, had until Wednesday changed to “publicly funded media”.

NPR said Twitter’s move could damage its reputation.

“NPR’s organizational account will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking action to undermine our credibility by falsely suggesting that we are not editorially independent,” NPR Chief Communications Officer Isabel Lara said in a statement.

In a letter to staff Wednesday morning, NPR Chief Executive John Lansing said posting on the platform would harm their journalism. “An action by Twitter or other social media companies to tarnish the independence of any public media institution is extremely harmful and sets a dangerous precedent,” he wrote.

in a twitter thread The broadcaster shared links to its newsletter and accounts on other social media sites on Wednesday morning.Some NPR affiliated stations include New York City Keep posting on Twitter in New York.

PBS took similar action. “PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change, and we have no current plans to revert,” said Jason Phelps, a spokesman for PBS, who did not post on Twitter. since Saturday.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

during an interview NPR, Mr Lansing said the broadcaster would not immediately return to Twitter even if the hashtag was removed. “It will take me some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again,” he said.

NPR explain Employees can decide for themselves whether to stay on the platform, but its leaders advise caution. Tony Cavin, the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief for standards, said in a note to staff that the company’s decision made it more likely that those who remained on Twitter would be attacked. He added that Twitter had become “less reliable” and that the platform’s blue checkmarks, once used to verify public figures, were now “almost meaningless.”

Twitter has faced numerous controversies since Elon Musk bought the company for $44 billion in October, including mass layoffs that have coincided with an increase in blackouts and other glitches. The platform has also been criticized for attracting more hate speech.

In a BBC interview that also aired on Twitter on Tuesday night, Musk pushed back against claims that hate speech had increased on the platform since he took over. He also said the blue checks that were once issued to celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures would be phased out next week.

In the past, Twitter has included NPR and the BBC as exceptions to the state-affiliated account guidelines because they are “state-funded media organizations with editorial independence.”

Ms. Laura said last week that, on average, less than 1 percent of NPR’s annual operating budget In the form of grants from government-funded public broadcasters and other federal agencies and departments.

Even before Mr. Musk took over, media outlets sometimes suspended their Twitter accounts. In 2018, fox news The site stopped tweeting for 16 months after primetime host Tucker Carlson’s home address was posted on the site.

Ryan Mack Contribution report.

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