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Twitter has stopped labeling media organizations as “state-linked” and “government-sponsored,” including NPR, which recently left the platform over how it was labeled.
Late Thursday night, the social media site removed all labels for several media accounts it tagged, dropping NPR’s “state-sponsored” tag and the “state-affiliated” identifier for outlets like Russia’s RT and Sputnik. as well as China’s Xinhua.
A policy page describing labels on Twitter’s website has also disappeared. The labeling change comes after Twitter removed the blue verification marks that indicate an account has been verified from several feeds on Thursday.
In early April, Twitter added “state-affiliated media” to NPR’s official account. That label is false: NPR receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federal Agency for Public Broadcasting and does not broadcast news as directed by the government.
Twitter also tagged other outlets that receive a small portion of their funding from the government, such as Canada’s national public broadcaster, the BBC, PBS and CBC.
Twitter later changed the label to “government sponsored”.
Last week, NPR exited the platform, becoming the largest media company to leave a Musk-owned platform that he was forced to buy last October.
“Continuing to share the federal charter for public media on a platform that associates it with the abandonment of editorial freedom or standards would be an affront to the serious work you all do here,” NPR CEO John Lansing wrote in an email. Employees explain the decision to leave.
Disclosure: This story was reported and written by NPR reporter Mary Yang and edited by business editor Lisa Lambert. Under NPR’s protocol for reporting itself, no company official or news executive reviewed this story before it was published publicly.