National Public Radio (NPR) is upset with Twitter for classifying it as “US state-affiliated media” and is protesting against the move, citing freedom of the press. NPR also criticized Elon Musk, the CEO of the social media platform, while expressing their indignation.
NPR President John Lansing responded by expressing his disapproval of the classification, stating that he was “disturbed” by it.
He tweeted, “We were disturbed to see last night that Twitter has labeled NPR as ‘state-affiliated media,’ a description that, per Twitter’s own guidelines, does not apply to NPR. NPR and our member stations are supported by millions of listeners who depend on us for the independent, fact-based journalism we provide.”
Shortly after Musk confirmed NPR’s classification on Twitter, the president of NPR declared in a statement that the media outlet was a crucial component of American democracy.
Lansing stated, “It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy. NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable.”
According to NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara, officials from the media outlet requested Twitter to remove the label as they believed it was applied by mistake. Lara added that they were caught off guard as they were not notified beforehand, and the label appeared suddenly on Twitter the previous night.
On Wednesday, Musk posted the definition of “state-affiliated media” from Twitter’s Help Center.
“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,” Musk tweeted.
He then added, “Seems accurate.”
Seems accurate pic.twitter.com/nx5TmJY7GX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2023
In accordance with its guidelines, Twitter does not promote or prioritize accounts labeled as state-affiliated media to its users.
According to NPR correspondent David Gura, Twitter revised its policy to eliminate any mention of NPR.
Gura tweeted, “Twitter labeled NPR ‘state-affiliated media,’ even though the company’s own policy stated the organization shouldn’t be labeled as such because it has editorial independence. Hours later, Twitter removed the reference to NPR in the policy.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Twitter for a statement, but the social media platform responded with a poop emoji. NPR also received the same response but was reportedly not amused.