Twitter designates NPR ‘state-affiliated media,’ gets poop emoji for questioning the decision

The social platform uses such labels to describe state mouthpieces and propaganda outlets from Russia and China.
Baba Tamim
Elon Musk

National Public Radio (NPR) has been designated as "U.S. state-affiliated media" by Twitter as the platform would designate media from Russia and China.

The social platform uses such labels to describe alleged state mouthpieces and propaganda outlets like Russian news agencies and Chinese news agencies.

Twitter designates NPR ‘state-affiliated media,’ gets poop emoji for questioning the decision
NPR's status on Twitter showing "US state-affiliated media."

Screenshot/Interesting Engineering 

"NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable, said John Lansing, CEO of the media company, in a statement calling NPR an "independent, fact-based journalism" outlet.

"It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy," he added. 

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Twitter, acknowledged that NPR had been given the new tag.

"Seems accurate," Musk said in response to a tweet about the change in NPR status under a screenshot of Twitter's rules defining state-affiliated media.

State-controlled media businesses have long been identified on Twitter, now owned by the tech billionaire. 

The labels "provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities, and individuals associated with those entities," according to the platform regulations.

Twitter further describes state-affiliated media 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."

However, Twitter claims state-affiliated media with "editorial independence," like the BBC in the United Kingdom, are not defined as state-affiliated media.

NPR reporter David Gura published two screenshots demonstrating how NPR was originally listed next to the BBC as a state-funded organization that was not categorized as a state-affiliated entity since it had editorial independence.

"Yesterday, @elonmusk's Twitter labeled NPR' state-affiliated media,' even though the company's own policy stated the organization shouldn't be labeled as such because it has editorial independence (left). Hours later, Twitter removed the reference to NPR in the policy (right)," he wrote on Twitter. 

Officials from NPR have urged Twitter to take the label off. "We were not warned. It happened quite suddenly last night," said NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara adding that the company initially believed it had been applied accidentally. 

When NPR attempted to reach out via email for a comment, Twitter's press account automatically responded with a poop emoji, claimed an NPR report.

For weeks, the company has been responding to media inquiries with poop emojis due to alleged local political affiliations and bad press coverage of Musk.

"There is no doubt of the independence of NPR journalists," a White House spokesperson said, condemning NPR's "U.S. state-affiliated media" status while praising their "hard-hitting independence nature."

This event marks the second dispute in a week between the Elon Musk-owned platform and a U.S. news organization. Musk withdrew the company's blue check when the New York Times declared it would not participate in Twitter's paid verification scheme.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board