The public broadcaster announced on Wednesday that it will no longer post content on Twitter after Musk designated the public broadcaster as “State-affiliated media,” a designation previously reserved for outlets controlled by governments in authoritarian countries that, unlike NPR, are not editorially independent.
“The platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” NPR said in a statement. “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.”
Twitter’s big cheese has since changed the designation to “government-funded media,” but that’s also inaccurate since the U.S. government provides less than 1% of NPR’s annual operating budget.
Although Musk told the BBC on Tuesday that he would update the Twitter labels for that network and NPR to “publicly funded,” as of Wednesday afternoon, the “publicly funded” designation has only been applied to the BBC.
The inaccurate “government-funded” designation remains on the NPR Twitter page.
In addition, Musk responded to a question about whether his antics could cause a chain reaction with other news orgs in a way that can only be described as truly, truly petty, saying, “Defund NPR.”
Many Twitter users pointed out the folly in Musk’s double down on the “government-funded” falsehood.