Twitter Labels NPR as ‘State-Affiliated Media,’ Musk Says Description Is ‘Accurate’

Twitter has slapped NPR’s account with a label that described the outlet  as “State-affiliated media.”

The label appeared on Tuesday night.

Owner Elon Musk commented 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:

“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’s leftist allies, 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.”

However, despite issues of bias with the BBC, the organization is funded by the public and not with taxpayer money.

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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.”

The company said it would prevent tweets from those accounts from 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.”

“We don’t let state-affiliated media accounts advertise on Twitter,” Twitter added.

“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.

However, 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.

So the question is, does NPR push an agenda and ideology influenced by the state?

Many on Twitter argue that it certainly does:

NPR has responded to the move by complaining that their emails to Twitter were auto-replied with a poop emoji.

“NPR officials have asked Twitter to remove the label,” NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara said.

“They initially assumed it was applied by mistake.

“We were not warned,” Lara said.

“It happened quite suddenly last night.

“In response to an NPR email for this story seeking comment and requesting details about what in particular might have led to the new designation, the company’s press account auto-replied with a poop emoji — a message it has been sending to journalists for weeks.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to the labeling by defending “the independence of NPR’s journalists.”


However, as many pointed out on social media, Jean-Pierre’s defense of NPR did more to confirm Twitter’s allegation of the outlet’s links to the White House than refute it.

READ MORE: MSNBC Analyst Melts Down as Russell Brand Shreds His ‘Propaganda’ Network: ‘Propagandist Nut-Crackery’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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