Twitter Changes Guidelines So It Can Label NPR As ‘State-Affiliated Media’

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Twitter has updated its guidelines so that it can label NPR as a “state-affiliated media” company.

Twitter’s previous guidelines held “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.”

Twitter appears to have reclassified NPR as “state-affiliated media” sometime Tuesday and then quickly updated its guidelines to justify the change. (RELATED: NPR Stealth-Edits Article Saying Oscar-Winning Actress Michelle Yeoh ‘Identifies As Asian’ After Backlash)

“State-affiliated media is defined 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. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled,” the updated guidelines read. “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy.”

Twitter CEO Elon Musk chimed in, saying “seems accurate.”

BBC has not been re-labeled.

NPR President and CEO John Lansing said in a statement that he found Twitter’s decision disturbing.

“We were disturbed to see last night that Twitter has labeled NPR as ‘state-affiliated media,’ a description that, per Twitter’s own guidelines, does not apply to NPR,” Lansing said. “NPR and our member stations are supported by millions of listeners who depend on us for the independent, fact-based journalism we provide. NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”

NPR receives grants from government agencies such as the Department of Education and Department of Commerce.