Twitter removes ‘government-funded’ news labels after NPR and other failures

After weeks of truly inane antics, Twitter removed the “government-funded media” labels on every account from NPR to the Chinese state-affiliated Xinhua News. Twitter even seems to have removed is Web page explaining the “government-funded media” labels.

This whole saga began when Twitter labeled NPR “state-affiliated,” a designation Twitter reserves for publications where the government exercises influence or control over editorial decisions. But NPR gets about 1% of its funding from the government and operates with editorial independence. So Twitter created a new “government-funded media” label for NPR, which is a bit less misleading, but could still easily give users the wrong idea about the accuracy of its news. NPR ended up leaving Twitter, with its CEO saying that he had lost faith in decision-making at Twitter.

Twitter doubled down, adding “government-funded” labels to outlets such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC Australia), Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), New Zealand public broadcaster RNZ , SR Ekot from Sweden and SVT. and of Catalonia.

In a particularly stupid act, Twitter assigned the CBC a “69% government funded media” label, as the network claimed less than 70% was funded by the government and, as we well know, the owner of Twitter , Elon Musk, has the same sense of humor as a high school freshman on Reddit. This led the CBC to follow NPR’s lead and abandon Twitter altogether.

And now we have come full circle. Like legacy blue checks, government-funded media labels have disappeared. So it goes.

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