Musk removes government funded labels after review prompts some outlets to

Musk removes ‘government-funded’ labels after review prompts some outlets to leave Twitter – The Hill

Twitter removed the “government-funded” labels from outlets like National Public Radio and PBS after the outlets and others protested their accounts being flagged and many decided to leave the platform.

The decision marks a 180-degree turn for CEO Elon Musk, who originally plastered NPR with the “state-affiliated media” label previously reserved for state propaganda news outlets like Russia’s RT and Sputnik, and China’s Xinhua.

This raised enough protest for Musk to back down and change the designations for NPR, PBS, and the UK and Canadian national broadcasters to “government-funded,” which more accurately describes the broadcasters’ relationship with their governments, but still bias or control implies not present.

NPR earlier this month announced it would no longer use Twitter, saying the platform didn’t provide enough value to the post. A number of outlets, including PBS and CBC, followed suit in protest.

“NPR and our member stations are supported by millions of listeners who rely on our independent, fact-based journalism,” said John Lansing, CEO of NPR. “NPR stands for freedom of speech and for holding those in power to account. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us in this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”

Now Musk has turned around and removed funding tags from all accounts, including state propaganda outlets.

Journalist Robert Mackey criticized the move a tweet thread.

“Potemkin news channels are now free to spread disinformation,” he said.

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None of NPR, PBS, or CBC have resumed tweeting since the labels were removed, reflecting growing dissatisfaction with Musk among media organizations.

CBC told the Toronto Sun that it will review its Twitter policies after the new change.

The controversy comes as Twitter has now removed all verified ticks except for accounts that pay for Twitter’s subscription feature. The move has wreaked havoc on the site, which is once again rife with celebrity, politician, corporate and government organization impersonations.

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