Twitter Takes Out NPR’s Label as a ‘US State-affiliated Media’ – Why?

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Twitter Takes Out NPR’s Label as a ‘US State-affiliated Media’ – Why?


Twitter has removed the “US state-affiliated” label from NPR, which was applied just a few days ago. The social media company now lists the public broadcaster as a “government-funded” organization, as per Engadget’s report.

(Photo: CONSTANZA HEVIA/AFP via Getty Images)
The Twitter logo is seen on a sign on the exterior of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, on October 28, 2022. – After months of controversy, Elon Musk is now at the head of one of the most influential social networks on the planet, whose “tremendous potential” he has promised to unleash.

“Government-funded” Label

NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn was the first to report on the change, stating that Elon Musk told him Twitter would apply the “government-funded” designation to other institutions soon.

However, Tesla, which has received government subsidies worth billions of dollars over the years, does not seem to have the label, according to Allyn.

Since Twitter first applied the state-affiliated classification on Wednesday, the main NPR account has not tweeted. The media organization altered its policies after NPR CEO John Lansing pointed out that the term “state-affiliate” did not apply to the public broadcaster under Twitter’s own rules.

“State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US, for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media,” the page stated before Tuesday.

The company had taken out the NPR-related section of text by Wednesday.

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NPR’s Main Revenue Streams

According to NPR, grants from the government account for less than 1% of its annual operating budget. Around 70% of the non-income profit’s during the past five years have come from corporate sponsorships and programming fees.

NPR said it is an independent, nonprofit news organization. Additionally, it claimed to be a membership group for independently owned and run public radio stations around the country.

NPR’s two main revenue streams are corporate sponsorships and membership dues paid by NPR Member organizations to support a range of programs, resources, and services, according to its website.

Grants from organizations, individual gifts, and fees from Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) customers are among additional sources of income for the organization. 

Twitter has not commented on the matter but the recent change of NPR’s label indicates that Twitter is reassessing its policies.

The label was introduced in August 2020 to provide more transparency about the sources of information on the platform. The move was designed to help users make more informed decisions about the content they consume and to protect against the spread of misinformation. 

In related news, Twitter has labeled Substack links as unsafe, following the introduction of Substack’s Notes feature. Notes are similar to Twitter’s tweets and allow users to publish small posts with a dedicated tab for each post. 

This move has sparked speculation that Twitter may be unhappy with the similarity of Notes to its own platform. 

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