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Elon Musk: Twitter classifies US broadcasters as Russian propaganda

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Elon Musk: Twitter classifies US broadcasters as Russian propaganda

Twitter added the label “US-government-affiliated media” to the NPR account on Tuesday.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Twitter added a “state-affiliated media” label to National Public Radio (NPR)’s account on Tuesday.

This designation is usually reserved for channels like Russia Today and Xinhua in China.

A Twitter Help Center page removed an earlier mention of NPR as an example of media “not defined as state-affiliated media.”

Twitter has labeled National Public Radio’s (NPR) Twitter account “US state-affiliated media.” That designation is usually reserved for accounts like Russia Today, which is funded and operated by the Russian government, and China’s Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government’s official state news agency.

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Sea Twitter’s Help Center is the term for media whose editorial content is controlled by the state “through financial means, direct or indirect political pressure and/or control over production and distribution”. NPR has previously been cited, along with the BBC in the UK, as an example of state-funded media organizations being editorially independent and therefore not defined as ‘state-affiliated media’ for the purposes of this Directive, as set out in the Wayback Machine website you can see. However, Twitter has since removed the mention of NPR on the Help Center page. The mention of the BBC, whose accounts were not tagged, remains on the page.


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“We were disturbed to see last night that Twitter described NPR as a ‘government-affiliated medium,’ a description that Twitter’s own policies do not apply to NPR,” NPR President and CEO John Lansing said in a statement to Business Insider present. “NPR and our member stations are supported by millions of listeners who rely on the independent, fact-based journalism we offer,” he added.

And further: “NPR stands for freedom of speech and for holding the powerful to account. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us in this way. A strong, vibrant, free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”

On average, fewer come, according to the NPR website than one percent of the annual operating budget from grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and federal agencies and departments. NPR’s primary sources of revenue come from corporate sponsorships and dues from NPR’s affiliates. The CPB was established by the US Congress’ Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

Business Insider reached out to Twitter for comment. The company sent back an automated message that didn’t address the question.

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Elon Musk previously said in Text messages with a former Tesla executivethat he finds Russia Today’s news “pretty entertaining”. The lyrics were revealed in court documents as he tried to reverse his decision to buy Twitter for $44 billion.

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“The EU passed a law banning Russia Today and several other Russian news sources. We were ordered to ban their IP addresses,” Musk wrote to Antonio Gracias after the European Union issued a regulation last March banning Russian state media following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In another text, Musk explained that the Russian media had “a lot of nonsense, but also some good arguments.”

This text was translated from English by Victoria Niemsch. You read the original here.

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