The U.S. broadcaster NPR puts its activity on Twitter on hold after a confrontation with owner Elon Musk. The more than 50 NPR Twitter accounts will no longer be fed with current content, the broadcaster said. NPR recommended that users* use the service via its in-house app or other online platforms.
Musk had put the NPR account with the marking as a state-controlled media organization in a row, for example, with the Chinese news agency Xinhua or the Kremlin T.V. channel Russia Today. After criticism, the tagging was changed. Now it says NPR is a government-funded media organization. That, too, needs to be more accurate: More than 1% of NPR’s $300 million annual budget comes from government funds.
NPR criticized that the new classification also undermines the station’s credibility because it falsely implies that it is not editorially independent. It said it would no longer publish journalistic content on the platform.
The British public broadcaster BBC also initially continued to be described in its account as being financed by the government. In the process, Musk had announced in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday night that he would change the marking to “publicly funded.” The BBC also protested on Twitter against the incorrect designation.
The tech billionaire and head of the electric car maker Tesla have long seen himself mistreated, especially by U.S. media. For his more than 134 million Twitter followers, Musk serves as an amplifier of right-wing political views. Among other things, Musk recently accused the media of being “racist” against white people. He said of the New York Times that its “propaganda” was “not even interesting” and called the content of the newspaper’s Twitter profile “diarrhea.” The “New York Times” Twitter account also had its verification checkmark removed.