PBS Follows NPR In Quitting Twitter Over 'Government-Funded' Label

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has followed National Public Radio (NPR) in leaving Twitter, following the social network’s labeling of them as “government-funded media.”

PBS stopped tweeting from its Twitter account on April 8, as soon as it became aware of the label, and has “no plans to resume at this time,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.”

PBS's Twitter profile (above) states: "PBS's editorial independence is central to our work and will never change. We produce trustworthy content that features unbiased reporting." 

Last week, without explanation or warning, Twitter tagged NPR as “state-affiliated media” on NPR’s main account — the label it also applies to Russian and Chinese propaganda accounts.

Over this past weekend, it changed the NPR tag to “government-funded media,” and also added that tag to a few other outlets that get some funding from the federal government, including PBS and Britain’s BBC.

NPR receives just 1% of its direct funding from the federal government. Dues from member stations account for about a third of NPR's revenue.

The U.S. and Canada are among the governments that buy advertising on Twitter and/or now pay for Twitter account badges.

On Tuesday,  tweeted a list of places readers could access its digital journalism outside of Twitter, including its website, newsletters and other social media sites.

NPR said it would not post any new content on any of the 52 Twitter fees associated with its brand.

"We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public's understanding of our editorial independence," NPR CEO John Lansing said in a message to staff.

On Tuesday, in an interview with BBC, Musk said he would change BBC’s tag to “public funded,” but made no mention of doing the same for NPR or others.

On Wednesday, Musk escalated the feud by tweeting “Defund @NPR.”

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