PBS Joins NPR in Quitting Twitter Over “Government-Backed Media” Label

Dan Neil and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk attend Tribeca Talks After The Movie: 'Revenge of
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PBS has joined NPR in quitting Elon Musk’s Twitter after the social media network labelled both organizations as “government-backed media.”

Bloomberg reports that PBS has decided to stop using Twitter after the social media platform referred to both it and NPR as “government-backed media.” “PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time,” said PBS spokesman Jason Phelps in an email. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.”

The argument started when Twitter labelled NPR as “state-affiliated media,” a term also applied to propaganda accounts from nations like China and Russia. Later, Twitter changed the phrase to “government-funded media,” but that wasn’t enough to please leftists criticizing the platform.

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, cited NPR’s reliance on US government funding in response to the controversy, despite the fact that only a small portion of the Washington-based organization’s funding comes from federal agencies. “Guess they won’t mind losing federal funding in that case,” Musk said in one tweet. “Defund NPR,” the billionaire wrote in another.

Breitbart News previously reported on NPR’s departure from the platform, writing:

NPR, whose budget is subsidized nearly 11 percent by taxpayer funds, declared it will step away from the social media platform to protect journalism. NPR’s media personalities will (so far) remain with personal accounts.

“We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” NPR’s CEO John Lansing said in a statement.

When questioned if NPR would ever return to the platform, Lansing cast doubt on the idea.

“I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again,” he said. “At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter.”

Elon Musk has been making significant changes to the platform since he paid $44 billion to acquire Twitter last year. The verification process for media, celebrities, and other well-known Twitter users is one of them.

Read more at Bloomberg here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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