After NPR left the platform, Twitter removed all ‘government-funded media’ labels

Twitter has removed labels describing certain media outlets as “state-funded” or “state-affiliated” after falsely claiming they are government propaganda machines.

There was fierce backlash from editorially independent media outlets like NPR and the BBC after Elon Musk’s Twitter misclassified them as controlled by their governments. But after the organizations were forced to prove their independence and combat the looming public distrust, everything seems a moot point as the labels no longer exist.


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In early April, Twitter added a label to NPR’s Twitter page calling them “US national media,” which Twitter defined as “venues where the state controls editorial content through funding or political pressure.”(opens in a new tab) gizmodo. The label put NPR in the same category as China’s Xinhua News and Russia’s RT and Sputnik, which are widely regarded as state-controlled propaganda machines.

After an email exchange with NPR reporter Bobby Allyn, who told Twitter CEO Elon Musk that NPR receives only 1 percent of government funding, Musk changed the label to “Government Funded Media.” The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America also had the new Government Funded label, although they were also editorially independent.

The slightly different semantic classification was still not acceptable to NPR and left the platform. Efforts to “smear the independence of a public media institution are extraordinarily damaging and set a dangerous precedent,” called(opens in a new tab) NPR CEO John Lansing.

But now, after all that, Musk has decided to ditch media labels altogether. “That was Walter Isaacson’s suggestion,” Musk said in an exchange with NPR’s Allyn. Isaacson, an author and journalist who wrote the Steve Jobs biography, is working on a Musk biography.

And that’s probably the best explanation we’ll ever get.

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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