CNN New York --
NPR announced Wednesday that it will suspend its Twitter use after clashing with Twitter over controversial new "state-affiliated" label used to its accounts.
The broadcaster stated that NPR's corporate accounts would no longer be active on Twitter as the platform was taking actions that undermine credibility and falsely suggest that they are not independent editorially. "We will not put our journalism on platforms that have shown an interest in undermining both our credibility and the public’s understanding of editorial independence.
Twitter called the radio broadcaster a'state affiliated media' organization late last week. It was similar to foreign propaganda outlets like Russia's RT or Sputnik. NPR, which receives public funding from listeners, quickly rejected the label. John Lansing, NPR CEO, called the label "unacceptable." Twitter updated the label over the weekend to "government-funded media."
NPR's final series of tweets, its first in more than a week, noted other places where its work can also be found. This included through its newsletters and app, as well as other social media platforms.
This move could threaten to undercut one of Twitter's main selling points, its role as a central hub in news. Twitter also received backlash for using a similar label to the BBC as 'government-funded media'. The BBC is also primarily funded from the public.
Elon Musk, Twitter's owner, acknowledged the criticism in a Tuesday interview with BBC. He stated that he was not happy about being called'state-affiliated media'.
Musk stated that his goal was to simply... be as truthful as possible. He also said that he would update the label of the BBC to make it 'publicly-funded.
This is just the latest example Musk attempting to antagonize media outlets. Twitter also attacked the New York Times earlier this month by removing the blue verification mark from its main account. This was after previous promises to remove all checks from users who were verified using Twitter's legacy system. Some journalists were upset when Twitter temporarily restricted users' ability to share links to popular newsletter platforms. It quickly reversed the decision.
Twitter appears to have also removed restrictions on Russian government accounts, which were in place after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "All news is propaganda to some extent." Musk tweeted his support for the decision, commenting on it Sunday.
Musk is trying to stabilize Twitter's business. He has stated repeatedly that the company was at risk of bankruptcy and only had 'four months to survive' after his takeover.
Twitter has seen a significant exodus in advertisers due to increased hate speech and drastic cuts to its workforce. Musk has been waging a hard battle to get users to subscribe to the platform's subscription service for $8 per month.
The CEO of a billionaire company said it's not fun and can sometimes be painful. However, he indicated that some Twitter advertisers might return to the platform.