Twitter placed a label on NPR’s account Tuesday describing the outlet as “State-affiliated media,” with owner Elon Musk commenting that the description “seems accurate.”
Twitter’s guidelines state “Labels on state-affiliated accounts provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities, and individuals associated with those entities.”
Musk quoted Twitter’s Help Center, which notes that “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”
NPR comrades, such as Climate & Energy Correspondent Jeff Brady, were annoyed:
Others noted that Twitter’s guidelines also state that “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy.”
In 2020, Twitter made the move to label many accounts, including Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, as well as reporters working for them as ‘state-affiliated media’, and said it would prevent tweets from those accounts appearing on the home screen, in notifications, or in searches.
However, NPR was left alone.
Twitter claimed it was doing this “to make the experience more transparent,” adding that “we don’t let state-affiliated media accounts advertise on Twitter. We’ll also no longer include them or their Tweets in recommendations, as we continue to support a free and independent press.”
How much taxpayer funding NPR receives is unclear, with much of it being hidden in the form of grants, but estimates have suggested NPR’s budget is made up of 25 percent of taxpayer dollars, with its member stations receiving another 40 percent of public funds. Others argue it’s less than 2 percent.
Now wrap your head around this tweet:
So the question is, does NPR push an agenda and ideology influenced by the state?
The following examples would suggest yes, it certainly does: