PBS Joins NPR, Becomes Second Major News Org To Stop Using Twitter Over Musk Label

BRAZIL - 2022/09/02: In this photo illustration, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) said they have stopped posting content on their official Twitter account, becoming the second major news outlet — after National Public Radio (NPR) — to ditch the popular social media platform.

PBS’ decision comes after Twitter labeled the non-profit TV network’s account as “government-funded media.”

“PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time,” said a PBS spokesman, according to several news outlets. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.”

NPR became the first major news outlet to announce it will no longer post content on its more than 50 official Twitter accounts on Wednesday, saying the platform’s decision to label them as a “state-affiliated media” account “undermine[d] our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent.”

“NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” an NPR spokesperson told TPM.

“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. We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audiences and communities. There are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music, and cultural content,” the NPR spokesperson added.

The decision comes a week after Twitter tagged NPR as a “state-affiliated media” account, a label typically used by the platform to identify foreign media outlets that represent the official views of their government, like Russia’s RT and China’s Xinhua.

Days later, in a series of emails Twitter CEO Elon Musk exchanged with an NPR reporter, Musk acknowledged their decision to label NPR as a “state-affiliated media” account might not have been accurate.

After that, Twitter changed the tag on NPR’s account to “government-funded media” and added media organizations PBS and BBC under the same designation.

Later, after an interview with BBC, Musk changed BBC’s label to “publicly funded media.” But as of Thursday, NPR and PBS’ labels remain as “government-funded media.”

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